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"Stella /Ifearis" Series 


IN GOD S ARMY. I. Commanders in 

Chief : St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis Xavier. By 
Rev. C. C. MARTINDALE, S.J. With 2 Illustrations. 

IN GOD S ARMY. III. Christ s Cadets: 

St. Aloysius Gonzaga, St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. John 
Berchmans. By Rev. C. C. MARTINDALE, S.J. 
With 3 Illustrations. 

" We thought we knew all about them and that every 
thing had been said. Father Martindale, however, re 
opens the mine and discovers new treasures. After reading 
of the Cadets we are forced to say that we have never 
read their lives before. Cadets they most certainly are 
these brave young Jesuit boy Saints. Father Martindale 
has hit the mark, so often missed by other biographers, in 
bringing out the strength and romances of sanctity in the 
boy, the youth, and the young man." Stella Maris. 


" A varied series of practical spiritual topics is treated of 
in this excellent volume. . . . The Essays are one and all 
of exceptional interest to souls endeavouring to fulfil the 
duties of their calling in life. A more sympathetic and 
sure guide they could not have than the author, a man of 
tender heart and intimate knowledge of what is required by 
the Catholic laity to help them to save their souls. This is 
a book that must have a claim on the attention of all who 
wish to know their duly and how best to carry out every 
command it enforces." The Cork Examiner. 


O CONNOR (Violet Bullock-Webster). With 3 Illus 

" The ten tales gathered here strike the right note of 
spirituality. They are exquisite little sermons in fiction 
form, but their moral and religious suggestions and impli 
cations are allied with such a sunny sweetness of literary 
manner that their direct hortatory intention is lost sight of 
in the human interest and social charm of the stories." 
The Catholic Times, 

" Stella fl&arte" Series 














, CHfflSTT 



1915 All rights reserved 







Die 28 Februarii, 1915. 



You said, dear Lady Denbigh, that you would 
find pleasure in having this small book dedi 
cated to you when it should be written. Here 
it is, then ; and I am especially glad it contains 
St. Francis Xavier. Not, as you quite well 
imagine, that it is to supersede the memory of 
the little thumbed, purple-covered, rain-sodden 
Life, or of any Life. For these studies are not 
Lives. In them I give nothing complete, not 
even in outline. I make no lists of miracles or 
catalogues of virtues, no account of post 
humous cult or honours. But if this or that 
be omitted, it is so simply for the sake of my 
object, which is to make the character of the 
Saint stand out intelligibly, within a very brief 
compass. By this I don t mean what was 
"merely human," "exclusively natural," in 


him. You can t divide, in a living person, 
natural from supernatural, as with a hatchet. 
All Christians are "supernatural" men; but 
each Christian is different from his neighbour. 
It is the "personal accent," so to call it, of 
these Saints which I have wished to catch, and 
I should like so to write that a reader may per 
haps feel he has met, and in some measure been 
in genuine soul-contact with them, for by soul- 
contact alone souls are changed. Virtue went 
out of Christ because His soul and the sick 
woman s were "in contact "; yet that contact 
incarnated itself, so to say, in the touching by 
her of His garment s fringe. So in these pages 
I should love to think some one or two might 
touch the extremest verge of the garments of 
God s Saints. How glad, too, should I be if 
you found in them as sane an air as that which 
pours so pleasantly through your many and 
wide- windowed house. 

Always most sincerely, 



A WORD of explanation, and perhaps even of 
excuse, is requested by the title of this short 
series. When I wrote the studies of the three 
young Saints which compose its third part, it 
was, as may be noticed, the vivid individuality, 
and especially the masculinity, of each which 
struck me. Yet by the title Christ s Cadets I 
meant that I had thought of them, at that time, 
rather as the younger members of His family 
than as His younger soldiers. When, however, 
it was suggested to me that I should continue 
the series, I tried to find a title somewhat 
analogous to Christ s Cadets for the two further 
volumes I foresaw. Calling, therefore, the 
entire series In God s Army, I chose Comman- 
ders-in-Chief and Captains of Christ to describe 
the Saints they should include, thereby at 
taching a definitely military significance to 



the name "Cadet." I should like, then, to 
emphasize that no elaborate parallel is meant 
to be here worked out between the career of a 
soldier in any European army, and of the Saints 
whose character I am trying to examine. Still 
less, of course, do I hint that Loyola and Xavier 
were in any exclusive way " Commanders-in- 
Chief," any more than Gonzaga, Kostka, and 
Berchmans are unique in the Church s canon. 
I repeat that these chapters do not form Lives, 
but are selective studies of the Saints from 
special points of view. If this statement be seen 
to recur under one form or another in each of 
these studies, that is partly for the sake of 
avoiding misapprehension, but more that each 
of the small volumes which compose this 
series may be separately intelligible, and even 
that each study they contain may be self- 

I should add that no sort of original research 
has been incorporated here. I have used only 
the ordinary Lives; for St. Ignatius, As- 
train s Historia de la Compania de Jesus en la 
Asistencia de Espana, I, San Ignacio de Loyola ; 
Fouqueray s Histoire de la Compagnie de Jesus 
en France, I. i.-iii. ; the Lives by Stewart Rose 


and Francis Thompson, the Testament and 
Letters of St. Ignatius, and a few magazine 
articles and reviews; for St. Francis Xavier, 
only Father Brou s monumental Life, which, 
save for the specialist, who will go to the most 
recent publications of original Xaveriana, is 
enough for anybody. 








I. IN NAVARRE- - - 111 

II. AT PARIS - 122 


VI. IN THE EAST - 157 

V. CHINA AND DEATH - - - 181 







WHAT is it that changes the world ? Events ? 
ideas ? or men ? Not mere inhuman events, 
certainly. An earthquake, even of Messina; a 
volcanic eruption, even of Mont Pelee; the 
sinking of a Titanic, do not jerk the globe off 
its axis. Doubtless the advent or recession of 
a Glacial Period ; the depression of a continent 
below sea-level or its reappearance would alter 
history ; but these processes are too gradual or 
too wholesale to be given, in its ordinary sense, 
the name "event." Therefore, not just the 
cannon-ball at the bygone siege, of which we 
shall have to tell, is, half-jestingly, to be offered 
as the cause of that tremendous influencing of 
the world s history we are to speak of, though it 
had its rebound from the battered wall never 
wounded Don Ifiigo of Loyola, who can foresee 
his career ! 

Ideas, then ? That is far nearer truth. It 
was the ideas set sailing down the wind by a 



Rousseau, for instance, which, far rather than 
any grinding tax or aristocratic privilege, 
settled maddeningly in men s brains, and bred 
the Revolution ? 

Yet, on the whole, it is a man who is wanted. 
The idea must, in our world of men, become 
incarnate. Rousseau s book was powerful; 
but, on the whole, the world is not converted 
just by books. The greatest converting force 
the world has seen is Christianity; but Chris 
tianity is Christ, not the Bible, nor even the 
New Testament. That collection of biography, 
annals, letters, and meditations was one in 
spired product of the great upheaval, but not 
its cause, or even its occasion. Therefore you 
want the Man, who, fired by the Idea, shall do 
the Thing. You want the Genius, the artist; 
and then you want the artificer, the laborious, 
efficient second-in-command to realize the con 
ception. When these two are combined, you 
get one of those very rare apparitions, the 
genuine Superman, in the only tolerable sense. 
For that genius is an infinite capacity for 
taking pains " is of all epigrams the most dire- 
fully untrue. As a rule, to take pains, to move 
step by step, to be accurate, reasonable, and 
satisfactory from a business point of view, is 
exactly what a genius cannot be. He sees in a 


flash the solution of a mathematical problem, 
or the exact word or rhythm to use in a com 
position ; but not by any sort of means can he 
explain to a plodding class of boys the steps 
leading to the solution, the rule accounting for 
the Tightness of the phrase or construction. 
Music spouts upward in his brain: he chafes 
if he be forced to write it down ; though once it 
is on paper, behold ! a masterpiece of which he, 
the Master, is free furiously to alter the score 
at the last moment. Poetry pours from his 
pen, and well after it is written he sees what 
it all means, and perhaps not even then, nor till 
his critics have pointed it out to him. Thus 
far, at least, in this working preferably by 
intuitions, his mind is feminine. If, however, 
there be added to this the masculine power of 
practical hard work (not that, by any means, 
women are incapable of most heroic drudgery; 
tenacity may almost be regarded as a feminine 
virtue), then, indeed, the world is his to do 
what he likes with. On the whole, men don t 
do more work than they need. The few colossal 
workers, even without genius, achieve much. 
For permanence is an almost Divine quality in 
an essentially shifting world, and the man who 
is always making is very nearly creating. But 
when, once more, the meteoric genius, with his 


flash and flame, does not disdain the dowdiness 
of the glow-worm (I assume for the sake of the 
comparison that the glow-worm is not a lazy 
creature), when the man of vision is also a man 
of business, all things are his. Such, I wish to 
argue, was Inigo of Loyola. I do not mean 
that he was unique, except in so far as each 
real genius, like St. Thomas s angels, is a species 
in himself. St. Benedict contained and liber 
ated a force capable of holding Europe to 
gether when by every human law she ought, 
with the Roman Empire, to have perished into 
fragmentary corruption. St. Francis of Assisi 
poured into the world from his radiant soul a 
spirit of joyous love of God and of the world 
in God, so powerful that no one, however 
divorced in belief from that Troubadour of 
Christ, is insensible to it. Ignatius, too, 
founded a religious order, and that is much. 
He, too, rolled back, through his sons, the tide 
of anarchy in religion which was sweeping down 
from Germany: more hazardous enterprise, he 
sought to christen that Greek rebirth of learning 
which was glitteringly confronting the old 
austere religion. Herein St. Thomas of Aqui 
no, a giant of Thought, had shot whole worlds 
beyond him. Still, in the practical sphere, 
Ignatius undoubtedly here saw to the altering 


of the European currents. Without more talk, 
let us be sure that with men like Augustine, 
Hildebrand, or Bernard, Ignatius deserves to 
have his place, there to be studied even by 
the least loving unbeliever. To every Catholic 
his name ought to be significant and, perhaps, 




" He holds on firmly to some thread of life . . . 
Which runs across some vast distracting orb 
Of glory on each side that meagre thread, 
Which, conscious of, he must not enter yet 
The spiritual life around the earthly life ! 
The law of that is known to him as this 
His heart and brain move there, his feet stay here, 
So is the man perplext with impulses, 
Sudden to start off crossways, not straight on, 
Proclaiming what is Right and Wrong across 
And not along this black thread thro the blaze." 


INGIO DE LOYOLA was born in the year in 
which Columbus sailed on his world-transform 
ing voyage. Embedded in the dull buildings of 
a college, made pompous by the unlucky f a$ade 
of their rococo church, stands what remains of 
the ancient castle of Loyola. Between the 
little towns of Azpeitia and Azcoitia, in the 
Basque province of Guipuzcoa, the castle had 


already outlasted many long centuries, when 
in 1456 its tower of massive stone was, by royal 
command, half pulled down, to be rebuilt by 
Ifiigo s grandfather with the burnt brick you 
see to-day. It had come to Lope de Ofiaz, in 
the thirteenth century, with the heiress Ines 
de Loyola, and these families had gone from 
within its walls to accomplish their somewhat 
magnificent history. Heavily had this history 
left its mark upon the mind of Don Beltran 
Yanez de Ofiaz y Loyola, whose wife Marina 
Saenz de Licona y Balda died, it would seem, 
soon after the birth of her thirteenth child, 
a boy christened Enico, or Inigo, after a local 
Saint. To a pious aunt was committed some 
thing of the child s first upbringing, but not to 
her was Don Beltran for entrusting his son s 
formation, and he was still a boy when he 
passed from the gloomy grandeur of the 
province to the Court of King Ferdinand, 
where his kinsman the Duke of Najera stood 
sponsor to him. 

Inigo lived there in a foreground of incom 
parable brilliance, while upon every horizon 
(save that Atlantic sky whither the westward- 
travelling sun of civilization was shooting forth 
new beams) brooded war-clouds already thun 
derous with cannon. Inigo should, one day, 


hear more than their distinct echo. At present 
the learning of war was a schoolroom business 
and a game ; he studied tactics with professors ; 
he fenced daily and danced nightly ; and as he 
grew, with swift Spanish adolescence, ladies 
laughed lightly towards the olive-skinned 
youth with his coal-black hair, not tall, but 
supple and very strong, who wrote them awk 
ward love-lyrics illuminated in scarlet, gold, 
and blue by his own hand. But among the 
constellation of great Court dames she whom 
Inigo chose as his star was " neither Countess 
nor Duchess," as he afterwards declared, " but 
loftier than either." To what royal dame did 
his vaulting ambition soar ? To the Princess 
Katherine, daughter of the Queen-Dowager 
of Naples ? To Germaine de Foix, a star-out- 
of- reach, the youthful wife of Ferdinand him 
self ?* Conjecture here is waste of time. Im 
pertinent, too, were it to penetrate Ignatius s 
reserve as to his general behaviour at this 
period, to yield (as rival biographers have done) 
to the temptation of making him into a rake 
reformed, or a courtier- Saint from his cradle. 
Suffice it to say that later on Ignatius would 
sometimes put a nervous penitent, with much 

* Father Genelli, S.J., Ignatius s biographer, sug 
gests these two names. 


to confess, at his ease by relating to him his 
own past life. Now the frightened sinner 
would hardly have been much relieved by hear 
ing that Ignatius had sometimes had distrac 
tions at his prayers. ... 

Thus, by a period of flamboyantly fine 
clothes, of reading of romances, of daring feats 
of horsemanship and skill in the tourney, by 
much singing of love-sonnets to the guitar, was 
the real life prefaced the life of soldiering, to 
which Inigo, after all, supremely looked for 

Where did he first fight ? In Italy, perhaps, 
where two of his brothers fell, under Gonsalva 
de Cordova, who had married Najera s sister. 
Perhaps in Navarre, already at Pamplona, 
under Najera himself. Anecdotes are few: he 
was loved by his soldiers, he quieted their 
quarrels, and averted mutiny even in the 
field. Already his quelling personality is mani 
fest. He was impetuous, but too proud to 
swear or lie. An insult struck him into instant 
flame; but the second impulse succoured him; 
he scorned to draw his sword too lightly. 
Brought up to a somewhat haughty submission 
to the proprieties of religion, and a yearly 
pilgrim as a boy to Compostella, he suffered 
no indecencies done to church or convent, and 


once held up a whole streetful of rabble till 
a priest whom they were molesting should 

In 1512 Ferdinand annexed Navarre and 
made Najera Viceroy. Four years later he died. 
Cardinal Ximenez, Regent for Charles V., in 
suppressing the immediate insurrection, razed 
the castles of Navarre, among them Xavier. 
Inigo had work of his own. He stormed Na 
jera in revolt, entered it brandishing his sword, 
and gallantly, or disdainfully, refused all share 
in loot. By 1521 Inigo was stationed in the ill- 
fortified, ill-garrisoned town of Pamplona. 
The French allies, once more invading, bom 
barded it. The inhabitants, French in sym 
pathy, and the commanding officers, undesirous 
to be massacred, were for surrender ; Inigo, for 
holding out. He recalled a classic precedent. 
^Eneas, goddess - born, destined founder of 
Rome well, even he seemed to Inigo con 
temptible, as he fled from doomed and blazing 
Troy. . . . The French march into the town, 
and prepare to assault the citadel. The Com- 
man4er, with Inigo and two others, go forth 
to parley. The terms are humiliating. Inigo 
spurns them, and carries the day. The 
Spaniards retire. Inigo confesses to a fellow- 
officer, harangues the soldiery, takes his stand 


at the wall in the hottest of the fire. A cannon- 
ball dislodges a stone, which strikes his left leg ; 
the ball itself, ricochetting, smashes his right. 
When he recovers consciousness, he is in the 
French camp, a prisoner, and Pamplona has 

The French, courteous conquerors, set the 
bone, nursed him for a fortnight, and then 
freed their gallant foe unransomed. He pre 
sented to them his helmet, shield, and sword, 
and was carried to Loyola. The bone, ill-set, 
threatened a deformity. "Break it and re 
set it," ordered he. He clenched his hands, 
and took the torment silently. But fever 
fastened on him. Delirium racked him; he 
began to sink; the last Sacraments were ad 
ministered. Thereupon a vision of St. Peter 
visited him; he awoke refreshed, and wrote a 
poem in honour of his celestial physician. But, 
alas ! the unskilful surgery had left the bone of 
the right leg protruding beneath the knee. 
Trunk-hose, such as Sir Willoughby Patterne 
should have worn, were a necessity to the array 
of a Spanish hidalgo. Inigo could not imagine 
himself forbidden them. " Open the wound," 
he commanded the physicians, who warned 
him of worse sufferings than any he had yet 
borne. " Saw the bone off." The hideous 


operation was performed, Bon Martin, his 
brother, aghast at this indomitable will which 
dictated these tortures rather than fail in 
fashion. Worse, for weeks an iron frame 
dragged at the shortened limb, in the hopes of 
at least diminishing the limp Inigo never wholly 

Inigo lay there, not chafing, for his own will 
had bound him to his rack. Yet the appalling 
heats of the midsummer told upon his nerves : 
solitude tried his resolution ; he sought to stimu 
late the exhausted brain by tales of chivalry. 
He asked for a romance. We catch ourselves 
smiling when we hear that a Life of Christ by 
a Carthusian, and some stories about the Saints, 
were all that the unlettered castle could offer 
the bored and feverish soldier. He grumbled, 
but he read. And lo ! a challenge to his ambi 
tion. Long ago, Augustine, confronted by the 
legions of the chaste, boys and maidens, and 
grown men and women, heard that pertinacious 
questioning: "What these could do, cannot 
you ?" To Inigo it seemed confession of weak 
ness when, reading the deeds of Francis or 
Dominic, he heard timid instinct whisper: "/ 
never could do that !" 

But from these troublesome alarms the 
accustomed brain would lapse back into its 


gallant reveries: his Lady s face smiled, pro 
vocative, a ray in the dark sick-chamber; for 
two, three, or four hours together she riveted 
his attention. He pictured their next meeting 
how it should be led up to ; its sweet surprise ; 
the clothes he would wear; the conversation 
which should follow, composed entirely of that 
secret code which he and his mistress had 
compiled together, a bafflement for the un 
initiated. He brooded on new feats at the 
joust which should do homage to her. . . . 
But the reveries themselves were anxious ; they 
left him still questioning, still distressedly con 
scious that across the accustomed harmony a 
new voice, dissonant yet comforting, was 
making itself heard. 

Suddenly he yielded. Inigo was converted. 
Watch him before we examine his strange case. 
Something has happened to this man which 
has altered him and his world. He will rise 
from bed, disguise himself, walk barefoot to 
Jerusalem. He inquires of the Carthusians at 
Burgos as to their mode of life. He watches 
the night out, praying. Mary dawns upon him, 
quenching the lesser light;* he vows himself 

* Ignatius, speaking in the third person of himself, 
says that after his vision of Our Lady a loathing seized 
him for the former deeds of his life, especially for 


to her service, and the castle of Loyola is shaken 
to its foundations by the impotent rage of Satan. 
Meanwhile he copies some three hundred pages 
of holy sayings, and devoutly illustrates them, 
and cannot cease talking of religious things. 
He lies for hours, gazing at what stars his tiny 
window shows. Convalescent, he decides to 
start for Jerusalem. He will go, he announces, 
on a visit to the Duke of Najera. His brother, 
nervous of this new unknown Ignatius, begs 
him not to forget he is a Loyola, nor disgrace 
the name. With two servants and another 
brother he visits his sister, " repays Our Lady s 
visit " at the Shrine of Aranzazu, calls on the 
Duke, and dismisses his companions. 

Mounted on his mule (for one foot was still 
unhealed), he started for the shrine of Our 
Lady of Montserrat. On the road occurred 
the immortal incident of the Moor. This 
traveller, unconverted by any edict, and talka 
tive to imprudence, rode alongside of Ignatius, 
and disputed with him touching the virginity 
of Mary, his chosen Lady. Ignatius argued; 

those relating to carnal desires, and lie seemed to feel 
the phantasms of all such, things passing out of his 
soul. From that hour to August, 1556 (when he 
dictated this), he never yielded consent, even in the 
slightest degree, to any desire of that kind. 


the Moor, galled, spurred his steed and made 
off. In failing to avenge his Lady s honour 
with the dagger, had he not, Ignatius asked 
himself, played the recreant knight proved 
himself no true gentleman ? The scruple 
harassed him. . . . The road, he perceived, was 
about to branch. Tossing the reins on his 
mule s neck, he left it to the dumb beast s 
guidance, whether he should follow the broad 
path chosen by the Moor and slay him, or the 
narrow mountain track and let him go. The 
wise mule made upwards towards the shrine, 
and the errant knight was saved. On the way 
he bought a strange disguise ; and lo ! the gal 
lant, but lately braving agony for the sake of 
shapely hose, equipped with black sackcloth 
to the ankle, girt with a hempen cord, his 
wounded foot shod with a sandle of plaited 
grass. Thus did he reach the huge monastery 
in its eyrie of the Jagged Rocks, and, in the 
loftiest cell, the Hermitage of the Good Thief, 
he made a general confession to its tenant 
which lasted three days. He details his in 
tended way of life, and receives God s sanction. 
He gives his mule to the monastery, his rich 
clothes to a beggar. Himself he tells how, 
incited by memories of the chivalrous romance 
Amadis de Gaul, he determined to do vigil, 


like old-time candidates for knighthood, before 
God s altar. He therefore, attired in sack 
cloth, hempen-girdled, stood the long night of 
March 24-25, 1522, through before the shrine 
of his Royal Lady, and did vigil of the armour. 
Early on the Feast of the Annunciation, having 
hung up his sword and dagger at Mary s shrine, 
he left Montserrat, self-styled "the poor and 
nameless pilgrim." 


Down through the woods he limps ; a prior s 
widow meets him, and directs him to the Hos 
pital of Santa Lucia, at Manresa. On the way 
an official from Montserrat overtakes him. 
Was it really true he had given his clothes to 
a beggar ? (for the man had been arrested 
and interrogated), or had the miscreant 
robbed him ? Ignatius, while exculpating him, 
sighed that not even in doing good could he 
help doing harm. He is housed in the hos 
pital, tends the sick, prays by the seven-hours 
stretch in the great Manresa church, reads 
daily the Passion during Mass, for to pray he 
knows not how. At night the bare floor, with 
a stone or log for pillow ; for food, black bread 
and water once a day. Hair-cloth teases his 
skin ; a heavy iron chain, or a girdle of prickly 


leaves, chafes his loins. Unshorn, uncombed, 
with nails uncut, uncleaned, he is pursued by 
hooting boys, who call him " Father Sack." 
Four months he spends thus, surmounting his 
loathing for the squalid sick, and the fierce 
surge of wrath at insult. Near Manresa, facing 
Montserrat, was a bramble-choked cavern, 
some four feet broad by nine. Hereinto Igna 
tius crawled, and there abode in naked aus 
terity. Upon the lyre of his soul plays every 
wind of God. Buoyant exultation has hitherto 
possessed him. Now, as he enters, exhausted, 
the church where he hears Mass, a chill for- 
boding seizes him. " How shall I stand this 
life for forty years ?" He resists; desolation 
and exultation sweep over him in waves ; it is 
"putting one garment off and another on." 
"What," he asks himself, aghast, "is this 
unheard-of life I have entered upon ?" He 
swoons, is tended by pious women, is lodged 
in a convent. Vainglory leaps upon him. By 
all this, he must surely long ago have merited 
his Paradise ? Back swings the pendulum. 
Is he sure even one sin has been properly re 
pented of ? The period of general confessions 
must be passed through by this scruple- 
tortured, ill-directed soul. Prayer suffocates 
him; Communion goads to madness. " As for 



me," he cries, despairing of any relief in God 
or man, " if I had to go after a dog s whelp and 
take my cure from him, I would do it." In 
the convent a deep pit gaped. It summoned 
him insistently: suicide was the one way out 
of it. He vows not to eat or drink till his 
temptations shall be conquered. After a week, 
empty of food, bloody with penance, he is 
refused absolution by his confessor if he will 
not eat. Yet a few days and peace returns. 

Peace, and with it revelation. As to St. Paul, 
in whose church he was praying, after the cata 
logue of persecutions (never wholly to be 
closed) comes the period of celestial apocalypse 
Still from time to time the growl of distant 
thunders is to be heard; but the sky, cleared 
now of its clouds and washed with heavy rain, 
shines serene and beyond its wont refulgent. 
The spiritual experience of sixty-two years, he 
said afterwards, could not altogether equal 
what he then saw. The plan and order ob 
served by God in the creation of the world ; the 
manner of the Incarnation of the Word, and 
of the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist ; the 
Humanity of Christ, the essential mystery of 
the Trinity all this he " sees," and, in intelli 
gence of his faith, feels himself another man. 
As for the " manner " of his seeing, it was in- 


terior wholly. As for the symbols under which 
he saw what he saw, they were inexplicable in 
words, because they had nothing to do with 
thought. They were an immediate spiritual 
perception, so much so that the Sacred Hu 
manity itself was perceived by him spiritually, 
not in time nor space, " without distinction of 
member, joint, or limb." Pharaoh s magi 
cians, by lying miracles, imitated the wonders 
worked by Moses. Something that was not 
God vexed brain and nerves, or malicious 
spiritual influences mimicked grotesquely the 
diviner revelation. A spiral of light, coiling 
and uncoiling, starred with focussed fires a 
" serpent," he pathetically writes, " which was 
no serpent," spotted with "eyes which were 
not eyes " writhed hypnotically in his brain. 
The cool brilliance drugged sensation and 
soothed him, but his conscience was against it, 
he would strike out with his stick, and the 
illusion went like smoke. 

He looks beyond himself. Some of his ex 
periences scruples, visions, methods of choice 
and prayer he notes down for his own and 
others use. These will form the Exercises. 
He dreams of a return to the world, to warfare, 
but for Christ this time to a crusading 
company, a novel army, in which he, with 


equal comrades, shall fight for the supremest 
Captain. This conception of a Kingdom of 
Christ puts the last match to the latent trains 
of thought disposed in Ignatius s soul. He 
falls into trance, and lies, on the old brick 
pavement you now see under glass, unconscious 
for a week. Recovering, he can but exclaim, 
" O Jesus ! Jesus !" Later, when argued with 
about some point of his rule or institute, he 
would burke discussion by the final words, 
" Thus I saw it at Manresa." Already, devout 
women gather round him; they pray, copy 
him in his constant reading of the Gospels, 
shock opinion by communicating once a week ; 
get nicknamed "las Ifiigsitas." He preaches, 
mingles with all classes, sits hearing them and 
asking them questions. So vivid is his imme 
diate perception of God that he will declare 
that one hour s mental prayer can teach him 
more than all the doctors of the Church could 
do that were all Scripture and all human 
testimony to the Faith to perish, the evidence 
of his personal experience would suffice for him 
to welcome martyrdom. Meanwhile, in all 
Manresa and Barcelona, he declares, not one 
person spiritual enough to help him could he 
find save one old woman, whose words, "Oh, 
that Christ our Lord would one day appear to 


you !" first, perhaps, lifted him from the plane 
of material things to that of the spiritual. 
Assuredly, great sanctity will be this man s if 
he be humble; else, great heresy. In either 
case, how unerringly, from afar, is the shadow 
of the Inquisition falling upon his life ! 

Let us pause a moment before leaving this 
enchanted world of hermits and caves and 
trances; of mysterious ladies and illuminated 
missals; of Satanic earthquake shocks; these 
feveied imaginings of suicide, predestination, 
with their dramatic background of Montserrat, 
savagely jagged against the Spanish sky. Let 
who will trace in this strange story of conver 
sion a phenomenon of nervous shock, the 
ghastly fruit of a sick-bed tortured by cruel 
medicine into madness; of "suggestion " ema 
nating from one or two pious books perused in 
the twilit castle. Let him, then, explain how 
from this period, externally so fantastic and 
remote from us, emerges a man, changed 
utterly and throughout, destined to a long life 
of unremitting, calculated, logical self-disci 
pline; of slow, careful, selective self-extension; 
of a formative, creative power ; capable of deal 
ing with men ; of marshalling and captaining an 
army unique in history, and destined to out 
last centuries. Not mythical is the tale of his 


earlier efforts ; not madness is their explana 

Alone in the world, the Catholic Church be 
lieves in and proclaims, in every department of 
life, the existence of the supernatural.* The 
intellectual life, her philosophy teaches, is as 
real as that of the senses, though not to be 
grasped by mere unaided sense. Similarly, a 
supernatural life exists, as her dogma declares 
and her theology narrates, which is as real as 
the intellectual, though never to be grasped 
adequately by the intellect. In all baptized 
Christians this life is infused at baptism. The 
mysterious Fact is in them, latent, possibly 
dormant, as intelligence lies hidden in the child. 
In some this life expires; in others it flickers, 
sinks, and flares, like the thoughts of the half 
witted. In some it bursts its way out explo 
sively, a spiritual Vesuvius or Stromboli. In 
all the awakening of the intellectual life is, 
save when the guidance has been gradual and 
exquisitely tactful, accompanied by some 
shock and jar. Often it is a pathetical comedy 
to watch one, unaccustomed to thought, in 
travail with an idea that struggles to be 
born, and somehow is not viable. Let it but 

* She has her grotesque imitators, like the serpent - 
imitation of Inigo s divine visions, such as Theosophy . 


succeed, and his delight with this his offspring 
is delirious. He catches it up, nurses it, 
dreams about it, and thinks no idea has ever 
yet been its equal. A practical man, in posses 
sion of one such dominant and new idea, may 
very well run amok with it and do untold harm. 
All his perspective and plan of life is suddenly 
and violently changed. The existent seems 
crooked and awry. By it he reinterprets all 
things. There is a Futurist painting called, I 
think, " Revolt," really not insignificant in its 
symbolism. The rebel battalions, fiery-red, 
impinge on dull-hued horses, vulgar, four 
square, conventional, row on row. But, be 
hold ! the rows of houses seem tilted, conceived 
of on another plane, needing a twisting of the 
eye and mind to get them " right." For to the 
rebel they are not right. They are not merely 
weaker than himself, uglier than himself, yet, 
in the ultimate issue, of one nature with him 
self ; but they are essentially other -almost in 
a different " dimension," impossible of correla 
tion, as they stand, with his spiritual processes. 
A boy will tell you, and your own distant 
memories may remind you, and an optician 
might explain it, that should you stoop on the 
cricket-field, for instance and peer backwards 
between your knees, the well-known view will 


look, not merely upside down, but odd some 
how, uncanny, not to be dealt with as of yore. 
Absurd examples, if you will, but somewhat 
of an illustration of that dislocation of one s 
customary view, that more than mere addition 
which comes to it when a new, dominant idea 
swims into the brain, or (still more) when the 
whole intellectual life bursts into being. All 
action is erratic, ill-managed, dishearteningly 
" out." You have to learn to see, even as a 
blind man must, to whom sight, suddenly 
given, teaches nothing about distances, solidity, 
or relativity. 

What, then, when the supernatural life is 
suddenly born, or reborn, or leaps into matu 
rity ? When a man, from having been blind, 
deaf, dumb, and paralyzed, has to learn to see 
and judge, to walk, to understand a language 
wholly new, and to speak out his experiences 
in a language utterly old, and all at once ? 
No wonder he fumbles, trips, utters ludicrous 
outcries, misjudges amounts, distances, weights ; 
imagines, now, that he has conquered every 
thing, now, that he is for ever incapable of any 
thing. What wonder if, to the others, he seem 
mad ? So to his own self he seems, and the 
madder, according to the perfection of his 
ability to deal with life on the old transcended 


plane. Or, if in his new world he seem sane 
to himself, then will his old life, and the actual 
life of his unconverted fellows, seem mad, and 
he will cry aloud to them to come away and 
save their souls. The one thing he cannot do 
is to multiply the new into the old, to synthe 
size, to take an inclusive vision of a whole. 
His world is at war; existence clashes within 
itself. Let us, then, bravely say that he who 
takes the Catholic interpretation of Inigo s ex 
perience is utterly at ease. Nothing discon 
certs him neither the present, when he 
watches Inigo at his odd spiritual pranks, such 
a fool for Christ ; nor the future, when Ignatius 
will be so rational, so resolute, so efficient, so 
spiritually worldly wise. He has no obligation 
whatever to assert that all the actions, moods, 
and ideals of Inigo in the first hours of his con 
version are proportionate and absolutely satis 
factory; nor any temptation at all to yield to 
the rationalist suggestion that they are the 
product of a merely sick and unbalanced brain, 
and of a nervous system tortured into hysteria. 
God is gradually fulfilling Himself in a human 
creature: later on, the exquisite adaptation of 
grace to nature will be manifest. At first it is 
a fight, and, for the time being, whatever fights 
is spoilt. 



I count as " conversion period " everything 
up to Inigo s definite inception of his Society, 
which, after one or two false starts, occurred in 
1534. Up to then he was still finding himself; 
at best, establishing and perfecting what he 
had found. 

After ten months at Manresa, he left it on 
his pilgrimage. " Father Sack " began to con 
sult propriety. He cut his hair, trimmed his 
beard, and cleaned his nails. He changed 
horsehair gown for cloth coat, and wore a hat 
and shoes, and so started for Barcelona. Was 
this a slackening off tepidity ? Dare we sur 
mise that to the fiery hidalgo respectability 
was worse than rags ? There is a romance of 
mendicancy; all extremes have the aristocratic 
value of sheer extremity. A host of dingy 
adjectives begin now to be applicable to Imgo 
and take the sting out of his personality.* But 
just as his high-breeding relentlessly pierced 
through, even in his most ragged days, so now 
in his hour of decent middle-classism, " often 
the man s soul springs into his face. As if he 
saw again and heard again His sage that bade 

* Yet this is little to what he will endure when his 
duty shall bid him live perpetually in a mental suburb. 


him Rise, and he did rise." Inez Pascual 
had speeded him from Manresa ; Canon Antonio 
Pujol, her brother, accompanied him; Isabel 
Roser, suddenly conscious of all Heaven in his 
eyes, as he sat among children on an altar s 
step, welcomes and mothers him. Alternately 
snubbed and worshipped, always begging his 
way, by boat and on foot, with many quaint 
adventures, he reaches Rome; Adrian VI. 
gives him his pilgrim s licence; with difficulty 
(for his grey, haggard face suggests that he is 
plague-stricken) he reaches Venice, and thence, 
storm-tossed, fever-racked, almost marooned 
for his denunciation of his shipmates im 
moralities, he reaches the Holy City, intending 
to dwell there by the Sepulchre, converting 
Jews and Turks and hereticks. Precisely ! All 
sorts of political rules exist for maintaining 
peace ; but Inigo will never observe the regula 
tions. Diplomacy forbids his stay. Scarcely 
has he written ecstatic, detailed letters home 
to Inez, when the Franciscan provincial sorrow 
fully orders the firebrand to depart. Inigo 
obeys, first, though, with his incurable Spanish 
realism, visiting Mount Olivet to see the print 
of Christ s ascending feet left on the rock; he 
bribes the Turkish sentinel with a penknife for 
this privilege. Departing, he remembers he 


failed to note the way the feet had pointed; 
scissors are his toll this time, but the friars get 
rid of the spellbound pilgrim with a stick. 

Back, then, by way of Venice, to Spain. 
But, as he read one day in the Gospel, " And 
they understood none of these things," he 
realized suddenly that for his apostolate learn 
ing, education (in short) was necessary, and he 
knew himself uneducated. He had been able 
to hold his own in Court and camp; he could 
speak of love and of war, and could persuade. 
Which, then, of his new experiences had taught 
him that, as things stood, no unaccredited 
"hot gospeller " could hope to win credence 
in the things of the spirit ? That the day for 
non-graduate apostles was over ? That a 
modern Paul must, like the first, have sat at 
the feet of his compatriot professors ? Or 
what subconsciously accumulated conviction 
did the chance sentence from the Gospel thrust 
to the surface ? To speculate is idle: observe 
his action. 

He reaches Barcelona ; * Isabel Roser assists 

* A most characteristic incident occurred on the 
way. Arrested as a spy, stripped naked in search for 
papers, with every prospect of being hanged, Ignatius 
wrestled with the temptation which bade him drop 
the boorish manners and accent he had adopted, and 
resume his signorial demeanour, and thus meet the 


him ; Inez Pascual boards him in her house, in 
part cotton-factory; Canon Antonio Pujol gives 
him the run of his library ; a schoolmaster offers 
to teach him Latin gratuitously. All this, that 
the converted soldier might acquire an art he 
was never cut out for. His memory had never 
been used for declensions, and could not keep 
them. His intelligence was practical, and had 
no use for future participles and the sequence 
of tenses. Yet the grown man, the irascible 
soldier, the fastidious, punctilious patrician, 
sat on benches with little boys, and stood up 
to answer, and could not answer, and saw him 
self go down bottom, and took it all in good 
part for Christ, for whose sake he laboriously 
acquired a stiff-jointed and Spanish but far 
from ineffectual Latin. Remorselessly logical 
in all he did, he rigorously repelled the pious 
thoughts and feelings which invaded him when 
at his books. He begged the schoolmaster to 
flog him publicly before the boys if he caught 
him not attending. Thereupon the heavenly 
distraction ceased. Not that he suspended his 
direct work for souls. A characteristic inci 
dent stands out. A certain Barcelona convent, 

officials on equal terms. He conquered, and was 
treated by the new Herods less as a criminal than as 
a fool, and as such was soundly beaten. 


called Of the Angels (as men, with a wry smile, 
recalled), had reached the lowest limit in laxity. 
Inigo went there and prayed ; returned, prayed 
longer, and preached. The nuns altered their 
way of life. Twice their furious lovers attack 
their new evangelist, but he escapes. A third 
time two Moorish slaves are set on him and 
Pujol; the Canon, poor old man, dies from the 
blows; Inigo, one pulp of bruises, lies for a 
month despaired of. The Last Sacraments 
cure him. He rises, and makes straight back 
to the Convent of the Angels. On his way his 
chiefest enemy meets him converted, too ; he 
implores pardon, weeping bitterly. 

After two years Inigo is pronounced compe 
tent ; he removes, for higher studies, to Cardinal 
Ximenez s University of Alcala. 

At Alcala Inigo suddenly perceived that life 
was short, and that art had best be shortened 
too. He therefore settled on doing everything 
at once logic, physics, and theology. His 
day was one mosaic of lectures, and in conse 
quence he learnt nothing whatever. He filled 
his head with a soup of information, and grew 
muddled and disgusted. Had he been a 
clever youth, his farrago of jumbled facts and 
formulae would have been ostentatiously and 
exasperatingly made traffic of ; but the slightly 


disillusioned modesty of middle age being his, 
he was just dissatisfied, and gave himself the 
readier to spiritual work. His success was 
astounding; young men grouped themselves 
about him; some even imitated him in his 
poverty and penitential life, and copied his 
grey serge cassock. Weekly Communion put 
the crown to what was becoming a clear scan 
dal. Ignatius was frankly held to be a sorcerer 
by the people, a heretic by the authorities. 

Rumour and denunciation (and which is the 
more mischievous ?) reaches the Inquisition at 
Toledo. Luther is in Germany : the " Enlight 
ened " have been worrying Seville and Cadiz. 
Secret informations are taken. Ignatius and 
his disciples are pronounced innocent, only they 
must not dress alike, nor go barefoot. Ignatius 
and his friends dye their cassocks and buy 
shoes. Next, a lady is seen, while talking of 
religion with him, to remove, for the moment, 
her mantilla. Forthwith, gossip. It is decided, 
however, that that need prove nothing against 
Ignatius s morals. However, two other ladies 
settle on a kind of life pilgrimage from one 
hospital to another. Ignatius disapproves of 
feminine vagrants, however pious. Still, they 
start. Their guardian is furious, and appeals 
to Figueroa, Grand Vicar of the Archbishop of 


Toledo, who had already tried the Saint. 
Ignatius was arrested, and, for the time, pleas 
antly lodged in an Inquisition cell, where he 
continued his instruction to crowds of learned 
and distinguished persons. After a consider 
able time Figueroa, who behaved throughout 
with a certain grave charm of dignity, assured 
Ignatius of his personal satisfaction that the 
Saint s intentions were innocent. " I should 
have been better pleased, though, had you 
avoided all novelty in your discourse." "I 
should not have thought," he replied, with 
dangerous meekness, " that it was a novelty to 
speak of Christ to Christians." The final sen 
tence was that his life and doctrine were with 
out reproach; but that, for sound reasons, he 
and his associates were to dress as ordinary 
students, and to hold no conferences, public or 
private, till they had finished their theology 
that is, for four years. 

Ignatius felt that life in this condition at 
Alcala would be intolerable. He would mi 
grate to Salamanca, first putting the whole 
case, however, before the Archbishop of To 
ledo, who approved, though owning he could 
not get the sentence rescinded unless Ignatius 
lodged a formal appeal, which he tactfully 
refused to do. Nothing annoys a subordinate 


official so much as to be appealed against, and 
made to withdraw his censure, and no one is 
so likely to suffer as the newly whitewashed 

Alas ! not a fortnight had passed at Sala 
manca before the authorities grew anxious. 
His Confessor told Ignatius it " would be well 
if he dined next Sunday at the Dominican 
Convent. He went with a disciple, Calixto. 
Why was the lanky Calixto so oddly dressed ? 
(His hat was too large, his tunic too short, his 
boots too small.) Well, he had been made 
to abandon his cassock ; and as for his student s 
clothes, he had given them away to a priest 
who needed them more than he did. These 
he had got from charity. The Sub-Prior ap 
proved highly ; he had heard marvels about their 
holy life and apostolic work. What had been 
their studies ? Nothing wonderful, Ignatius 
admitted. Why, then, did he preach ? He 
did not. He just talked, like this after dinner, 
for instance about Divine things. Aha ! what 
Divine things \ Virtues and vices. But to 
speak properly of virtues and vices, you must 
have been taught either by a theological 
professor or by the Holy Spirit. But not by 
a theological professor, therefore . . . ? "It 
were better," the impaled Ignatius answered, 



" to talk no more about this." The priest in 
sisted, threatening him with the suspected 
name "Erasmus." Ignatius said he would 
answer an authorized Superior. " We will 
soon make you tell," said the Sub-Prior. The 
doors were locked ; the men were captives ; but 
to their cells the friars came flocking. A divi 
sion arose, some saying, " Lo, the Spirit !" 
others, "Let them be properly examined." 
Soon they were officially imprisoned, a new 
Paul and Silas, chained by one chain to a 
pillar. Their papers were given over to the 
Grand Vicar Frias, and in particular the 
Spiritual Exercises. Long formalities were 
observed : Ignatius made modest and sufficient 
answers to their catechism. Bidden to dis 
course, as he used, upon the First Command 
ment, he melted his judges themselves, whose 
hearts beat true beneath their plate-armour of 
ecclesiasticism, by his burning words upon the 
Love of God. At last declared innocent in life 
and doctrine, he was yet forbidden to define 
the distinction between mortal and venial 
sin (the only theological point over which he 
had really had to fight), "till he had finished 
his theology." He could not accept the in 
junction interiorly, though outside obedience 
he well might render. His chivalrous sense 


of loyalty dictated this to be insufficient. 
Despite the kindly entreaties of Frias, he de 
termined to leave for Paris. His companions 
did not follow him, and he left, as he came, 

For completeness sake, let me anticipate, 
and finish with these incidents of Inquisitorial 
susceptibility. At Paris, Ignatius begins all 
over again, having so far mastered nothing. 
In the College of Montaigu he starts from the 
very bottom. Three disciples soon declare 
themselves, sell all, and follow Ignatius. The 
conventional are shocked : he is denounced to 
Ori, Grand Inquisitor at Paris, as sorcerer, 
ensnarer of youth, and runaway. Ignatius, 
away, as a matter of fact, at Rouen, exacts 
signed and sealed certificates, touching for 
his instant return, the moment his summons 
reached him. Still travel-stained, he invades 
Ori, and begs for speedy trial. All this, 
to prove he is no runaway. Ori yields at 
once: Ignatius shall be held innocent. How 
ever, his disciples desert him; he determines 
to avoid proselytism till degrees shall have 
been taken; friends congratulate him : how wise 
he is to keep quiet ! Surtout, point de zele. 
Still, he could not help himself. Spiritually 
he was a magnet. On Sundays philosophical 


disputes were abandoned for prayer, the Scrip 
tures, and the Sacraments. Peiia, lecturer 
in philosophy at Ste. Bar be, complains. 
Gouvea, the Rector, resolves publicly to flog 
Ignatius, according to a rule relating to dis 
orderly students. Stripped to the waist, a 
rebel ran between two double rows of pro 
fessors, who struck him with rods, amid the 
jeers of assembled students. Ignatius, warned 
of this, felt his blood boil. For himself, his 
one principle was self -conquest. " Ass !" he 
cried. "It is vain to kick against the pricks. 
On, or I will drag thee thither." Amazing re 
duplication of the Personality ! Here, indeed, 
is the innermost " I " as Dictator, issuing its 
edicts to what it calls "my body," "my in 
telligence," "my choice," and the endless 
series is begun, wherein "I" will that "I" 
should will. . . . 

The psychic victory once scored, he can dare 
to reflect upon his comrades. In his disgrace 
they, too, would be involved; in his shame, 
but not his strength, they would participate. 
They must be spared. He asks to see the 
furious Gouvea, and is admitted. What 
passed in that interview, who knows ? 
But from it Rector and scholar came out, 
hand in hand, the Rector weeping, Ignatius 


quietly triumphant. There were no rods, but 
the homage paid, before an astounded College, 
gathered for the sport of seeing Ignatius 
flogged, to that very Ignatius by his kneeling 
superior. His studies ran thenceforward their 
smooth course. In 1533 he was licentiate ; in 
1534, Master of Arts. Accused, however, 
once more, before leaving Paris, he extracted 
from his Inquisitor Laurent a written attesta 
tion of his orthodoxy and of that of the 
Spiritual Exercises. A similar attestation he 
obtained in 1537 from Veralli, Nuncio at 
Venice, where next his ardent " gospelling " 
won him denunciation. The worst attack 
came in Rome itself, which in 1538 Ignatius 
and his comrades were transforming. The 
Pope, his stanch supporter, was away. Fra 
Agostino, an Augustinian Friar, was what we 
should call a Modernist. Into sermons of 
much simplicity and devotion he gradually 
insinuated Lutheran ideals. Salmeron and 
Laynez, the two best theologians of Ignatius s 
band, tried privately to set things right. It 
went on from this to rival pulpits, each de 
nouncing the other. Agostino took the wind 
from the Jesuits sails by being the first pub 
licly to make the accusation of heresy. Ignatius 
had escaped death only by flying from Sala- 


manca, Paris, and Venice, each of which places 
had condemned him. Witnesses were called: 
Ignatius was accused before the Governor of 
Rome. Disciples began to leave him; fellow- 
workers escaped. Cardinal de Cupis, head of 
the Sacred College, declared himself to have 
proof of the Jesuits utter wickedness : all 
seeming virtues in them were hypocrisy; all 
seemingly good work done, witchcraft. Ignatius 
called on De Cupis, as he did on Gouvea. The 
visit lasts two hours. The Cardinal comes out, 
conquered, and gives bread and wine to 
Ignatius and his men for the rest of his life. 
Ignatius carries the war into the enemy s 
country. He goes to the Governor and de 
mands a trial. The case against him breaks 
down. He demands formal judgment and 
sealed sentence. The authorities are reluctant 
to commit themselves. Agostino offers pub 
licly to recant. Ignatius insists. Here hap 
pens a triple and downright melodramatic co 
incidence. Figueroa, who had imprisoned 
and acquitted him at Alcala; Ori, who had 
done the same at Paris; the Vicar-General, 
who had done the same at Venice, were all, 
by a disposition of events in which we seem 
to catch the smile of Providence itself, in 
Rome. Each came forward and gave that 


precise and personal witness, unobtainable by 
mere message, which proved Ignatius s in 
nocence and the triple charge alleged against 

Armed to the teeth with certificates of 
orthodoxy, Ignatius can henceforward move in 
peace as to this point. 

I have mentioned this series of instances 
less because they were characteristic of the 
period than because they formed the man. 
From being a portent of unconventionally, 
Ignatius became a monument of circumspec 
tion. If we stand back, as it were, and look 
first at the raw convert, dashing himself against 
quick-set hedges of rule, custom, and tra 
dition, deliberately defying the laws of health 
and society, and borne along, despite himself, 
upon the impetuous wings of the mingled 
spirits who possessed him, then at this grave 
ecclesiastic, measured, reposeful, established at 
Rome, and governing his world-wide institu 
tion from his desk, we perceive a difference so 
enormous that we are inclined to disbelieve 
it possible. Yet even in ordinary men the gulf 
between middle age and tempestuous youth 
is often vast enough; and how far less at 
tractive, may be, is the barge moored in the 
dull lagoons than may I say ? the brave 


little motor-boat, thrusting its way through a 
rain of crystals between blue and blue. In 
general, how far pleasanter a thing is un 
conscious, often devious, dash than reasoned 
rectitude of progress I Well, we may learn to 
alter our ideals even of what is pleasant to 
the eye. charming to the fancy; and, above 
all, we may console ourselves with the utter 
certainty that never to the end did Ignatius 
abate one jot of what, at this point, we feel 
bound to call his sporting spirit. The fact 
remains that to the incidents related above 
Ignatius owed an immense reordering of be 
haviour, which directly affected his legislation 
for his sons and their whole history. Order, 
moderation, sobriety, the dully golden mean, 
enter now as elements into the Ignatian out 

(Yet a whole chapter will have to be written 
in which his military spirit of dash and 
enterprise will be a main motif. After all, 
even in the warfare of actual armies, it is 
asked of the General rather that he keep 
his head in safety than that he personally 
lead the charge, brandishing swords and 
shouting ! . . .) 

But a far deeper consideration is here in 
place. Again and again at this early period 


Ignatius must have felt himself suppressed 
and wasted. Here was a terrific work to be 
done: here was he, terrifically ready to do it: 
nothing scared him, nothing could stand up 
against him nothing, that is, which was 
honest, spontaneous, human, and alive. Only 
against this Chinese Wall of formalism he 
dashed himself unavailingly. Certainly, of 
all horrible things, waste is the most horrible 
to behold. Any waste of beauty, of sheer 
reality, is wicked : waste of life is sacrilege : of 
human life is an offence which cries, ever since 
Abel s blood, to God. Again and again one 
has seen it, and prayed never to share the re 
sponsibility for the spilling of lives upon the 
ungrateful ground. In fact, all human his 
tory, in our clumsy managing of it, seems to 
be built of waste. Contemporary society 
includes such wasted lives I do not mean 
by idleness, nor yet by lust, nor yet predomi 
nantly the lives of those hundreds of thousands 
of units, uneducated, undeveloped, starved 
in body and brain, affection and ideal ; but by 
the sheer working of the most characteristic 
instruments of civilization: Army, Civil Ser 
vice, Universities. Overlapping, ill-adjust 
ment, red tape, above all, cruel lack of imagina 
tion, even more than the franker vices of 


jealousy, sloth, and avarice, are responsible, 
alas ! for what sheer waste.* 

Now, it is legitimate and, in fact, easy to 
argue that in Ignatius s case neither time nor 
possible work nor human character was 
wasted. Sooner or later Ignatius would have 
been bound to organize and alter the uncon- 
sidered excursions of his earlier days for serious 
strategics. Moreover, facts must be accepted. 
There, in his world, existed these authorities, 
lay and especially ecclesiastical, and especially, 
too, in Spain. There was no getting beyond 
them, even were it desirable to attempt such 
a course, which it was clearly not. Such work 
as can be done must always be done in some 
measure, so as to chime, not clash, with actual 
conditions. The very rigidity of his environ 
ment will, in the end, make Ignatius infinitely 
adaptable. Then the man was true metal 
throughout. In a flawed character, oppo 
sition, and cabining of the sort he experienced, 
may bring about revolt, perverse selfish effort 
that is, rebellion, isolation, and that indi 
vidualism which is heresy, moral and intellec 
tual, and doomed. In a temperament dispro- 

* Of such modern plays as I have met with, the 
famous Waste has seemed to me by far and by far the 


portionately alloyed with the base, sourness, 
sulkiness, and retiring into its shell, a de 
liberate and complete non-exercise of powers 
which are not allowed to be fully exercised, 
nor as self would choose, will follow. In a 
constitution too shudderingly strung, a sym 
pathy too vibrant, real death may follow on 
the repression of all life s spontaneous mani 
festations. It is a flood of light on what 
Ignatius really was when we recall that in 
his case not one of these disasters happened.* 

And therefore it may be said that in the 
soul s life alone there never need be waste. 
The martyrdom through which a man may 
pass, the strain upon his faith and his hope, 
the onslaught on his charity, may be appalling. 
Very likely to the chafing soul of Ignatius the 
experience was cruel; but in the soul nothing 
need die. For all eternity the spirit of Ignatius 

* It is hardly needful to point out to Catholics how 
justified, in reality, is any policy which really, on the 
general scale and in the long run, keeps their faith 
from harm, and leads to its robust development. 
Damage done to faith is an irreparable calamity. 
Observe, too, how our instinct plays up to the formal 
ist ! The graver moral lapses of our past we view 
with serene regret, when they occur to us: the 
memory of a split tea-cup, a dress trodden on, a 
boorish guffaw, can strike us wide awake in our beds, 
and blushing in the dark ! 


is the more developed, more rich, more inter 
cessory, powerful, and praiseful, for the vir 
tuous, ill-judged, yet, perhaps, quite justified, 
attempts of men to crush him. And not this, 
not even this, is the worst of martyrdoms for 
a Saint. Perhaps, if only because Ignatius 
was not yet a Saint, fully enlightened and 
established, were these experiences so hard; 
but because he was destined to be a Saint and 
not a failure, their very hardness could be 
trusted to be formative. 



" Holy Father, I hold the other Orders in the 
army of the Church Militant to be as so many 
squadrons of cuirassiers, who are to stand fast in the 
post assigned to them, keep their ranks, and face the 
enemy, always in the same line, and with the same 
manner of fighting. But we are as so many light 
horsemen, who must always be ready, night or day, 
against the hap of alarms and surprises, to assault or 
support, as it may chance, to go everywhere and 
skirmish on all sides." ST. IGNATIUS. 

To most observers, I imagine, achievement is 
far less interesting than effort; arrival, than 
process; action, than motive. It is the latent, 
the obscure, the changing and growing, the 
causative, which fascinates one ; not the static, 
net result. Of course, in human history no 
result ever is static and net altogether, but 
passes on into something further, which it 
may partially cause. Else it is in a true sense 
meaningless because it does no work ; and work 
is the only proof of life: and what does not 
live has no claim upon our attention (except, 


of course, in so far as it ought to live, and for 
some mysterious reason does not; or, as it 
interferes with life, and becomes, therefore, an 
active centre of dissipation, corruption, and 
death). Therefore the various things Ignatius 
did are of little interest and even importance 
compared to why he did them, which means, 
compared to what he interiorly was (and this 
we have to some measure considered), unless 
his action be regarded as creative of his So 
ciety, and continued into it and still energetic 
to-day. But that would mean a history, or 
at least a study, of that Society, which is not 
aimed at here. To some extent, however, his 
further actions go on revealing the man, who 
is what we are after, and therefore this chapter 
need not, out of respect for psychological 
ideals, be omitted. 

When Ignatius went to Paris he did a double 
action. He emancipated himself from Spain, 
where it may be doubted whether his destined 
work could ever have been begun. One re 
members the history of other Spanish Saints 
Peter of Alcantara, John of the Cross and 
the direction followed by them, whether in 
speculative or in practical creative work, and 
sees that what Ignatius did, so unconventional 
was it (even now) to be, could never have been 


satisfactorily started there. Started, in a 
sense, it was, and more than once; and each 
time the tender little germ of life was nipped 
and perished. Strong already with a certain 
amount of growth carrying it beyond its in 
fancy, shielded by personal approbation of 
Sovereign Pontiffs, and thriving at Rome, it 
then could bear transplanting to, and might 
flourish in, Spanish soil. On the other hand, 
in Paris he found a centre not only unique in 
its history and actual reputation, but instinct 
with the pulse of life and thronged with vital 
personalities. Who had not gone to Pans was 
deemed half educated. Who came thence had 
his position already half assured. Paris was a 
world in itself, but a world in the throes of a 
re-birth; and its benefits just now were wooed 
with much accompanying danger. Still, on 
the whole, it was impossible not to go to 

There, in rather second-rate Montaigu, 
Ignatius studied, hampered by excessive 
poverty. His small moneys had been stolen 
by a friend : he spent his vacations begging 
in Flanders twice, then England. As we saw, 
his first influence over youth was on the whole 
disturbing. He "unsettled " them; their fer 
vour was a nuisance, fanatical, destructive. 


The truth is Ignatius was not even yet wholly 
at unity within himself. His methods still 
were violent. He nurses a case of plague: 
imagines he feels a pain in his hand; believes 
himself infected; is tempted to shirk. He 
thrusts his fingers into his mouth : "If you 
have it in your hand," he says savagely to him 
self, "you shall have it in your mouth also."* 
A special satisfaction may be derived from 
observing that Ignatius s first two genuine 
triumphs were over temperaments utterly 

* This realistic talking to himself is a constant 
factor in Ignatius s spiritual behaviour, and is easily 
discernible in the text of the Exercises. His methods, 
however, foreshadow his great adaptability. Each 
case he treated separately. An acquaintance is the 
lover of a married woman. On his way to the 
assignation he has to cross a bridge. In the winter 
midnight Ignatius stands up to his neck in the icy 
water, and calls through the darkness that there, 
night by night, he will stand during the hour of sin, 
expiating, as far as may be, in himself, his neighbour s 
fault. To a priest of scandalous life, Ignatius 
confesses his own career in the world, lamenting his 
sins so bitterly that the priest, shocked at the lay 
man s grief, himself so callous, is converted. He 
called one day on a noted theologian, and found him 
playing billiards. He invited Ignatius to join him. 
Ignatius had never played ; he refused, then suddenly 
consented. What should be the stakes t " If I 
lose," said the unconscionable Saint, "I will be at your 
service for a month. If I win, you shall do one thing 


opposed. To St. Francis Xavier that secre 
tive, subtle soul, entrenched behind rampart 
after rampart of fastidious refinement and liter 
ary brilliancy; athletic, popular, and versatile 
some separate pages will be given. Peter 
Favre, the other, required to be developed, 
"realized," revealed. He was as brilliant as, 
or more so, than Xavier, but diffident to a 
degree. A pious parish priest in the diocese 
of Geneva had taught the peasant boy his 
rudiments of classics. A Carthusian kinsman 
persuaded the lad s reluctant and timid father 
to send his clever son to Paris, rather as 
Xavier s aunt, the Poor Clare, got leave for 
her extravagant young nephew to remain 
there. Favre read philosophy with Ignatius, 
patiently waiting upon the older man s slow 
assimilation of new forms of thought. In 
return, Ignatius taught his naive professor 
how to conquer his pathetic wish to eat better 
food, his harmless vanity in his successes, his 
austere judgments upon the faults of others, 

for me that I shall ask a thing to your own advan 
tage." Agreed. The Saint grasps his cue. The 
balls, by a scandalous miracle, go right every time. 
Ignatius makes every point, and in return sets his 
opponent to the Exercises for a month. The great 
theologian had been, too, a great sinner, but the 
Exercises cured him. 



and the dark rebellions (the more tragic for 
his high instincts) which he felt within him 
self. As for Favre, no one minded what he 
did, nor resented his worship of Ignatius. But 
Xavier s valet Miguel, angry to see his lucrative 
worldling "converted," climbed to Ignatius 5 s 
window, knife ready, to assassinate him. 
Sudden panic caught him, and for the time 
stayed his malice. 

Others gathered round Ignatius : Laynez of 
Castille, and the brilliant boy, Salmeron of 
Toledo, came from Alcala they had heard of 
Ignatius s doings in Paris, and had pursued 
him. and, by a graceful act of Providence, 
met him the very moment they dismounted 
there ; Bobadilla, a somewhat daringly original 
young man (Moorish in descent ?) from Leon; 
Simon Rodriguez, aristocratic, graceful, 
talented, rather dreamy and imaginative s 
" Carmelite " (he has been called) almost more 
than Jesuit, riveting to himself the adoring 
souls of youths, and haloed from boyhood by 
the conviction of his friends that he was to do 
strange and notable things.* Perhaps not one 

* A little later, three Frenchmen, Codure, Le Jay 
(from Geneva), Broet, so sweet -natured and gentle a 
person that Ignatius called him the " angel of the 
house," will ask to join the Spanish group. 


of these first companions, save Favre and 
Xavier, will fail to cause trouble to Ignatius. 
But though he did not, naturally, want his 
men to mutiny, he preferred, undoubtedly, 
the temperament which had in it the passion 
requisite for revolt to the ansemic soul which 
just collapses into doing what it is told; and 
certainly he explicitly declared that they were 
likely to do best in his Company who would 
presumably have done best in the world 
and at worldly things. Almost more striking 
than any success was Ignatius s failure with 
Nadal, a man from Majorca. At once he saw 
that Nadal was made for him. He laid de 
liberate siege to him, but he would not yield, 
Nadal took out a New Testament and waved 
it in Ignatius s face. " When you have any 
thing better than that to offer me," said he, 
"I ll come." The Saint sighed and waited. 
Ten years afterwards, Nadal rather sen 
sationally became the Jesuit he had so obsti 
nately refused to be at the bidding of Ignatius. 
So little had Ignatius been mistaken in his 
man, and so clearly did Nadal come to realize 
that Ignatius s ideal was but the New Testa 
ment put into logical practice. 

Each separately, these men promised 
Ignatius their lives should be spent under his 


guidance and for his ideal, each believing 
himself to bealone. One day he makes them 
known to one another, and each, to his amaze 
ment, discovers he has met and loves the 
others, yet never has suspected this, their 
common goal. For a while they pray, study, 
and work side by side; on August 15, 1534, 
they make their vows at Mont mar tre, beside 
Ignatius, at the feet of Favre saying Mass. They 
fix a rendezvous in Venice for January 25, 1537 ; 
meanwhile they are to complete their studies. 

Ignatius revisited Spain, partly to wind up 
his affairs there and explain his projects to 
his family; chiefly, it appears, for his health s 
sake, which had suffered from his Manresan 
austerities, renewed in Paris. 

To the usual accompaniment of Mediter 
ranean storms and precipitous perils in the 
Apennines he reached Bologna, slipping in the 
flooded roads and falling into its moat. 
Bloody, slimy, soaked, the future Commander- 
in-Chief made his entry into the town, followed 
by a troop of yelling street boys. At Venice 
he wins three more companions, of whom one 
will become his confessor.* 

* " When we are in Heaven," he said of this good 
priest, " we shall see Father Diego fifty yards above 
us, so that we shall scarcely recognize him," 


Meanwhile the Companions from Paris were 
accomplishing their rough and dangerous 
journey through a Europe equally devastated 
by war and a bloodthirsty heresy. Arrested 
once by French soldiery, this travel- sordid 
group was delivered by the na ive expostulation 
of a peasant. "Let them pass," he cried in 
patois; "they re off to reform some country 
or other. I vont a reformer quoque pays ! 
In which brief patois phrase is a dose of comedy, 
pathos, or sublimity, according to what you 
suppose his perspective to have been, but 
vast enough, in any case ! They reached 
Venice in January, 1537, and remained there 
with Ignatius till mid- Lent. He then des 
patches them to Rome, whither he will not go 
himself, fearing some Herod in the person of 
his old enemy Ortiz, and Cardinal Caraffa, 
whose new Order he had refused to join. 
Ortiz, however, himself presented them to 
Paul III., and a large assembly examined 
them before the Pope, gentle in his methods 
against heretics, but eager for reform. They 
returned with his full approbation, permission 
for the laymen to be ordained, and a gift of 
money. Still unorganized each member in 
turn was Superior for a week the little band 
evangelizes Venetia. Rodriguez, still terrified 


by two slightly comic misadventures to which, 
as he journeyed, his demure charm rendered 
him particularly exposed, and fascinated by 
a hermit who had housed him, fell, first sick, 
then melancholic, and determined to give up 
missioning for solitude. He starts back to his 
hermit, when a man with a drawn sword bars 
his path. The new Balaam advances; so does 
his mysterious enemy ; Rodriguez turns tail 
and flies ; at the house-door Ignatius meets him, 
understanding his impressionable companion 
through and through, and, arms outstretched, 
he welcomes him, crying: "Why didst thou 
doubt, thou of little faith ?" The mission 
recommenced, the Companions standing on 
tables in market-places, waving their big caps, 
shouting their bad Italian, and being taken 
for foreign mountebanks or jongleurs. But 
the Spirit is irresistible, and breathes, as the 
wind blows, where He wills. Fire went forth 
from their souls, and renewed the love of so 
many which had grown cold. 

And now, on a sudden, Ignatius emerges as 
a man of wide design and masterful mind. He 
will go to Rome with Favre and Laynez. 
Rome is headquarters; he will insure stable 
relations with the Pope. The rest he flings 
abroad, by twos, into University towns 


Bologna, Ferrara,* Siena, and Padua. He gives 
rules simple enough, and nothing new still, 
the articulation is complete. Each will be 
Superior for a week in turn ; they will preach in 
squares, extempore; they must catechize children 
and sleep in hospitals ; they were on no account 
to take money for services rendered. He an 
nounces dogmatically that they now form a 
Company, or Brigade, to be called after its 
Captain, the "Company of Jesus." Hence, 
later, their nickname, Jesuits ; it stuck to them, 
in spite of popular, University, ecclesiastical, 
and even Papal reprimands, just as did the 
Antioch sneer of " Christian " cling to the 
followers of the Messiah. The model on 
which, at this period, Ignatius forms himself 
is quite clear. He deliberately imitates those 
paid battalions under their captains con- 
dottieri like Sir John Hawkwood, St. Cath 
erine s friend, who fought for whomso would 
hire them in unlucky Italy ; or those Free Cap 
tains who, under our own Black Prince, so 

* Le Jay was sent thither possibly because the 
French Duchess Renee loved her countrymen. But 
she loved, too, Calvin, and it was the famous Vittoria 
Colonna who mothered the first Jesuits in Ferrara. 
Here then are these men tossed already into Courts, 
and unable to refuse a ducal request that they should 
stay there permanently as tutor to the Heir. 


savagely desolated France. Rarely, perhaps, 
since the "baptism " by early Christianity of 
pagan rite or feast or temple has the enemy 
been so frankly pillaged and then Christian 

And upon all this Christ set indeed His 
seal. Ignatius, approaching Rome, entered 
the little chapel of La Storta, and, coming 
forth, he translated into words what in the 
chapel he had wordlessly been made conscious 
of. The chapel had been terrible, and none 
other than the house of God. God had been 
there, and His Son, and the Cross; and the 
eternal Father of men had put Ignatius beside 
that Son, and Christ had accepted the Saint 
for servant, and had said, " I will be propitious 
to you at Rome," in which Ignatius could 
foresee nought but a promise of much suffer 
ing. Many times again he was to find him 
self at the altar, in that mood in which the 
Father, finding him, had " placed him with " 
His Son. 

At once Paul welcomes him. In the Univer 
sity of the Sapienza Laynez shall lecture on 
Scholastic Philosophy, Favre on Scripture. 
Ignatius, with no illusions as to his gifts, 
preaches to the people. Suspected of carving 
out at Rome an ecclesiastical carrier e, he 


vows that never will he nor his Company, save 
for obedience sake, accept Church dignities.* 

Ignatius calls his men back. They concen 
trate in Rome; a large house with a tower is 
given them; Romans join the Company. 
Famine comes; the sermons yield precedence, 
for the moment, to material assistance. The 
Jesuits canalize and administer subscriptions. 
All Rome learns of their existence. Hence 
forward they cannot be overlooked. In the 
midst of these activities and this blossoming 
forth into publicity, Ignatius at last persuades 
himself to say his first Mass, and does so in 
Ste. Maria Maggiore, alluding to the fact, in 
the curtest phrase, in a letter. A solemn de 
cision was now asked of the Companions. 
Were they to coalesce into an organized 
society -that is, a body of men working to- 

* About this time Ortiz had done the Exercises, and 
was so upset that Ignatius called upon him to cheer 
him. The cassocked cleric, middle-aged, with his 
game leg, proceeded to dance Basque dances for the 
consoling of the overstrained theologian. Ortiz 
recovered, finished his Exercises, and realized, said 
he, for the first time, the difference between learning 
in order to teach and learning in order to live : 
between theology, that is, and religion. He wished 
to enter the Company. The kindly Saint said no. 
Ortiz lived to support it energetically, ever wor 
shipping, as was due, his unconventional friend. 


gether for a common end, under common 
laws, and dependent upon one government 
or should they remain disconnected units, at 
the direct disposal of the Pope ? This latter 
idea was unanimously rejected. Were they, 
he next asked, to add the vow of Obedience, 
as to a Religious Superior, to those already 
made of Poverty and Chastity ? The first 
evening after prayers they should bring for 
ward arguments against this; the second, 
those favourable to the vow. Now, this vow 
would organize these men into nothing more 
or less than a new religious Order. Just at 
present, to suggest this seemed madness. So 
depressed were the old Orders that the Pope 
had been advised by his Commission of Inquiry 
that this evil generation should be extermi 
nated by being forbidden to receive novices. 
It seemed impossible that at such an hour 
the Pope would allow the formation of a new 
Order. And a distinct fear was manifested 
among the Companions themselves that liberty 
would thus be overmuch curtailed. Still, 
opposing considerations, some academic and 
scholastic, some pious and many prac 
tical as that thus only could they insure 
permanence to their undertaken work de 
cided them to accept the third vow. To it 


was added a fourth, that of obedience to the 
Pope, made before the Superior of the Society, 
thus affirming at once the special readiness of 
the Company to live and work at the beck of 
Christ s Vicar, and the interior independent 
administration of the Society. A life- Superior 
is to be elected; Constitutions shall be drawn 
up; Rome shall be their centre. The petition 
for approbation is presented to Paul III. ; 
Cardinal Contarini backs it ; Cardinal Guidic- 
cioni opposes it. Months pass ; Ignatius prays. 
Suddenly opposition fails. In 1540 the Com 
pany is approved, being limited in number to 
sixty. After three years this restriction was 
withdrawn. Meanwhile Ignatius was unani 
mously elected General.* On April 15, 1541, 
the Jesuits solemnly made their vows at 
St. Paul s-beyond-the- Walls. The Constitu 
tions of the Society were not completed till 
much later. Temporary regulations were in 
use meanwhile. With infinite labour of com 
parison, consultation, prayer over one seem 
ingly small point he prayed forty days, and 

* It is most interesting to observe that Ignatius 
voted for by all, himself voted for none. I suppose 
that while he felt he could not decently vote for him 
self, he was unable to see anyone among his Com 
panions who really came up to his ideal. No doubt 
he did not himself either. 


always laid the written project on the altar 
while he said his Mass he reduced to detailed 
elaboration the vision which, in its unfeatured 
splendour of ideal, its ambition to join hand in 
hand the f orgetf ulness of self and the conversion 
of the world, he had seen long ago at Manresa. 
After knowledge of these heavy volumes, 
Richelieu is quoted as declaring: " Avec des 
principes si surs, des vues si bien dirigees, on 
gouvernerait un empire egal au monde," and 
Kings, he proclaimed, would be well advised to 
study them. Not till 1550 did Ignatius offer a 
completed version of these Constitutions to 
general approbation, and then only as material 
for endless further modification and adaptation. 
Arrived at this point, and looking at 
Ignatius s position as a whole, it is about 
equally clear that, on the one hand, he was 
bound to make an Order of his Free Company, 
and, on the other, that he regretted the neces 
sity. He was witnessing the transition of the 
free, unfettered and independent to the institu 
tional. He would have preferred that the 
" interior law of love " the immanent spirit* 
should have kept his Company at the outside 
work and in the interior harmony which was 
his hope for it; but example and reflection and 
advice all equally impelled him to organize, if 


only for the sake of present concentration 
and future stability. The Greeks detested 
the amorphous, the unlimited; "finish" and 
" perfection " had for them much the same 
meaning, and were words formed from an 
identical root. In their architecture no less 
than in their philosophy this cult of the 
defined is triumphant. On the box-like Par 
thenon the roof reposes like a lid. The 
Gothic arch soars, intertwines, and melts 
into itself, and the spire vanishes into the 
sky it points to. The Roman lived no less 
by rule, and the Roman Law survived the 
collapse of the Empire, and held Europe to 
gether, by the aid of the highly legalized 
Church, against barbaric chaos. Ignatius, a 
realist Spaniard, was temperamentally alien, 
despite his emancipated imagination, to all 
Northern love for the vague, for fused out 
line, for shrouded horizon ; to the mist and fir- 
forests, and the tender grey-shot colours; to 
Becoming, as we, with the poet Plato, have it, 
as opposed to Being. Even the Spanish mystics, 
John of the Cross, Teresa, live in an uncom 
promising sphere; their world is clear-cut 
even where it baffles human map-making ; they 
are great, passionate lovers of the one rather 
than genuine mystic dreamers, like Gertrude, 


Therefore he risked the more readily the 
incarnation of his spirit in an institution. 
We badly need a philosophy (historical, of 
course) of Institutions. The moment a body 
becomes thus definite, it creates, as is obvious, 
negation, contrast, conflict even. A circum 
scribed fact is not, far more than it is, exactly 
in proportion as the universe surpasses it in 
magnitude. An unembodied, pervasive soul 
can steal abroad and become conterminous 
with all that is; but the organized, enclosed, 
materialized, can only be its tiny self. The 
more complete this materialization, the more 
defiantly " other " it becomes from its en 
vironment; in the greater danger it becomes 
of real alienation from life, sympathy, influence 
upon its world; of interior solidification, im 
mobility and death. Ignatius, if he reflected 
on this at all, was encouraged to take the risk 
by that spirit of faith of which we shall speak 

After all, he had good consolation in the 
natural and supernatural orders alike. A man 
among men must work through the body as 
a rule, and not by sheer spiritual telepathy. 
A hermit may well be a centre of spiritual, 
radiating force; but vocations to hermithood 
are few. The Son of God Himself elected to 


live in a finite body, circumscribed in time and 
space, alien to this or that generation before 
and after, unvisiting this country or that, a 
unit. His Church is so definite and circum 
scribed a phenomenon that it is a sort of touch 
stone, and Christians may be divided almost 
adequately as institutional or unattached, 
social or individualistic. And the institu 
tional are in the right. Ignatius will have 
been content with an unconscious acceptance 
of the institutional Christianity ; nor have 
needed that more philosophical consolation 
Newman derived, as we do, from the spectacle 
of living bodies. Certainly a living body is 
an isolated unit, organized within itself; yet 
it, too, assimilates and develops, and alters 
utterly in outward seeming, while preserving, 
or gaining, its true balance of parts, its specific 
law, its spiritual identity. Thus from the 
Palestinian Christian, the Catacomb Christian 
was how different in seeming and even in out 
look; from the Catacombs, how divorced a 
Chrysostom, a Hildebrand, a Leo X. ! It 
is of faith that Christianity does not in 
trinsically and essentially alter; he would be 
a bold man, even, who should affirm that the 
modern Franciscan is illegitimately other than 
that radiant miracle, St. Francis: yet the dis- 


similarity is immense in all but that vital 
principle which it is the task of some subtler 
historian than the world mostly gives us to 
discover. Therefore in all this matter we want 
that prudent Evaluator who shall reckon up 
the losses and gains attendant upon the insti 
tutionalizing of any force, and especially of a 
religious force. For completeness sake we 
must emphasize that in this very act of insti 
tutionalizing, Ignatius revealed himself an 
innovator, a creator, almost a revolutionary. 
It was an immense thing to conceive the com 
bination of Contemplative and Active lives, 
though the idea had been hatched before, and 
even in local and specified ways realized to some 
small extent. Nowhere, however, had so vast 
a scope of activity been envisaged by those 
pioneers in Ignatius s path. But his auda 
cities were felt, as is usual, at the points where 
they defied the customary rather than where 
they launched positively forth into uncharted 
worlds. When he said his religious were to 
wear no distinctive habit, he made a sensation 
equivalent to one suggesting nowadays that 
an Order of priests were not to wear clerical 
dress at all. When he announced that his 
men were not to keep choir, a famous theo 
logian declared that in that case they could 


not be religious at all; it was felt almost as 
though a Founder now should claim that the 
members of his community should live each in 
his little flat, and have his latch-key (pardon 
this exaggerated touch). Even within his 
limits, which /or Ms day were astonishingly 
wide, Ignatius will display in flexibility and 
adaptability an assimilative quality, a power 
of action, quite remarkable. We shall see that 
never will he wish his religious merely to copy 
the past to ask what St. Ignatius did. They 
must live and create and behave as he, in 
the constantly changing circumstances, would 
have done. How far his descendants have 
been true to his ideal, their history, which we 
are not writing, may indicate. But that was 
his ideal. 

Meanwhile, observe Ignatius at work. 

He had captivated Favre, the gentle student, 
and Xavier, the brilliant and fastidious pro 
fessor. See him captivating because half 
captivated by ? the insupportable, fascinat 
ing boy, Pedro di Ribadeneira. Spoilt son of 
a widow, getting legs broken and ribs bruised 
by runaway mules and turbulent friends, he 
was spellbound by the gorgeous Nunciature 
of Cardinal Farnese, established in Toledo 
opposite his mother s palace. Farnese, on his 



side, was enchanted by the self-appointed 
page-boy. Guiccidioni the austere did more 
than yield he suggested that the Nuncio 
should bring him back to Rome. To Rome he 
goes: Court life, gymnastics, fencing, dancing, 
horsemanship -he takes to it with enthusiasm. 
Turbulent as ever, he sees (so he fancies) a 
fellow - page at a function making faces at 
him. Regardless of Pope and Cardinals, he 
dashes at him, and beats him about the 
head with a torch he is holding. Bored with 
obedience, he hides when bidden by the 
Cardinal to follow him into the country, 
and spends the day racketing round Rome. 
Panic-struck, as the evening falls, he dare not 
return, and flies to Ignatius, where he passes 
the night. Next day, Ignatius carries the 
truant back to the Cardinal, who laughs, and. 
Napoleon-like, pulls his ear. But meanwhile 
Ignatius, despite himself, has worked miracles. 
The fifteen-year-old lad had fallen in love with 
the grave Father, and Ignatius with him. He 
shall be a novice. A novice he becomes, 
keeping his fine dress, refusing to make the 
Exercises. Conquered abruptly by the Saint s 
prayers, he bursts into tears, and cries: "I 
will make them ! I will make them !" He does 
so, and therewith (quaint detail) his first Com- 


munion. An astounding noviciate follows. 
He hates getting up when called, and goes to 
bed in his clothes to save the few minutes 
dressing needs next morning. He jumps down 
stairs, bangs doors, makes clouds of dust. 
The Fathers cannot stand him, petition 
again and again for his rejection; Ignatius 
holds firm, now charming to the boy, now 
snubbing him, always keeping him. Pedro 
tries hard; he ties strings to his feet to keep 
himself from running, but limps elaborately 
behind the limping Ignatius up the church. . . . 
Asked what a secretary is, he answers: "A 
person who can keep secrets." "Very well," 
says Ignatius, " you shall be mine "; and adds 
enormously to his labour by letting Pedro 
write his letters, only to correct them thereafter 
with weary patience.* Once he sweeps the 
childish sheets to the floor. " This foolish 
boy," he growls, "will never do any good." 
Pedro weeps, raves, amends his ways; takes it 
out of Ignatius by correcting the Spanishisms 
of his Italian when he tries to preach. The 

* Ignatius, who wrote as many as thirty letters a 
day, always read each through after writing it, and 
sometimes rswrote it thrice. This was the more 
meritorious, as he must have known his letters were 
often very dull. He never developed the slightest 
literary style. 


Saint gives up! " Oh, my dear Pedro!" he 
cries, despairing of good Italian, " what can 
we do against God ?" Pedro makes faces be 
hind the minister s back; puts ink in the holy- 
water stoup; gets ill, cannot fast, scandalizes 
thereby the austere. " Who," cries Ignatius 
angrily, " has a right to be shocked ? Let 
them thank God they are not in the same hard 
case "; and threatens these Pharisees with 
downright expulsion, and has his letters read 
aloud in the refectory. Soon Pedro is sent to 
Padua for higher studies, thence to Paris; for 
so fully can this mere boy be trusted that 
Ignatius does not hesitate to fling him into that 
whirlpool. . . . Still poorly, Pedro is offered a 
horse. "He may act as he pleases," says 
Ignatius, hearing of it; "but if he is a son of 
mine, he will do as the others do." Already 
footsore at Viterbo, Pedro halts for the night; 
but, evening not yet passed, he explores the 
hospital, invades the church, climbs the 
pulpit. The sacristan, seeing him, rings the 
bell. Simplicity ? a jest ? As you will. Any 
how, a crowd collects, with itching ears. Pedro, 
terrified, tries to escape : not at all they 
came for a sermon, and a sermon they must 
have. The boy recalls a model Exercise 
preached in the noviciate refectory, and re_ 


peats it. A hardened sinner, converted, begs 
him to hear his confession . . . Expelled, with 
other Spaniards, from the French University, 
they were welcomed by Lou vain. But there, 
exhausted by too much travelling, the boy 
collapses. Melancholia besets him. He hides 
himself to weep. He shall return to Rome. At 
Mainz he meets Favre, who, shocked at his 
haggard looks, wants to keep and nurse him. 
No; all he asks is Ignatius. Favre gives him 
a little cloak, which he sells, later, for a couple 
of lire; and at last falls fainting at the feet of 
Ignatius, who was vesting for Mass. He be 
came a very brilliant Latin preacher and 
Rector of the Roman College. He visited 
England, and was the friend of Kings. He 
wrote the Life of St. Ignatius, and had the 
Saint s portrait painted, and in every con 
ceivable way fulfilled his Father s hopes. 

Ignatius was indeed unerring in his touch 
upon the young. He let fastidious novices 
keep their fine clothes till spontaneously they 
changed them; gave them their titles till they 
petitioned for plain " Brother " ; left a rich and 
treasured crucifix to a lad till, seeing " he had 
Christ in his heart," he pointed out he no longer 
need hold Him in his hands. Noviciate 
scruples he extinguishes sometimes brusquely, 


as when he orders a Brother, tormented lest he 
have scamped saying Office till he spends 
all day over it, to spend one hour exactly, 
and leave what is over unsaid; or subtly, 
as when he sends for a wretched novice, tor 
mented by insomnia into meditating flight, 
and lures him, as in consultation, to prescribe 
for symptoms which really are his own; or 
quaintly, as when to a despondent Brother he 
observes : "Be sure, Brother John, that if I 
remain in the Society, you will." On the 
whole, then, he makes himself delightful, 
reserving charm as his own privilege . What, 
said the Roman master-of-novices to a lad 
whom he was bidden to treat austerely, " do 
you think of Father-General?" "He is a 
fountain of oil," answered the boy, literary by 
right of Southern blood. " And of me ?" 
asked the Master, grimly. " You," said he, 
"are a fountain of vinegar. ..." Ignatius is 
said to have chuckled gleefully when he heard 
of this. Not but what at times he could be 
terribly severe. He watched long and accur 
ately, and then pounced. Nine, and again ten, 
he once dismissed en bloc, and was noticed to 
be unusually cheerful after these holocausts. 
He dismissed a certain Minister of the Pro 
fessed House at Rome, calling him from his 


very bed. Nadal, a man of first-rate worth, 
was reduced to tears by his reproofs adminis 
tered in full public refectory.* Laynez cried 
in despair : " Lord, what have I done to harm 
the Society that II Santo treats me with such 
severity ?" And Polanco, his secretary, his 
"hands and feet," as he called him, said that 
for years Ignatius had not spoken to him with 
special marks of friendship .f A novice, having 
" talked tall " about his determination to be 
off, finally sent a supercilious message to the 
General that he consented to stay the night > 
and would go next day. "Will he go to 
morrow ?" thundered the Saint. " That shall 
not he, for he shall leave the house to-night." 
And on the hour he went. Ignatius in a rage 

* For the feelings of Nadal and Polanco, Father 
Gonzalez says: " Ignatius appeared to have no oon- 
sidaration whatever/ Once, in fact, Gonzalez, who 
kept a diary of St. Ignatius s sayings, and dictated it 
to a novice, had to suppress one incident lest he 
should frankly scandalize the boy. 

t Ignatius knew perfectly well that exactly in pro 
portion as a friendship is profound, it stands in no 
normal need of manifestation. Cor ad cor. It were 
sacrilege, and (what is more) vulgar stupidity, to drag 
to the surface the roots of love, the better believed in 
because unseen. He was very averse to external 
marks of affection; embraces, unsouthernwise, were 
to be limited to greetings and farewells ; again, more 
northernly,he was all in favour of muchcold ablution. 


was deliberate, but dreadful. " The windows 
shook," we read, "to his terrible voice and 
heavy fist." He showed imaginative tender 
ness for the sick; danced (we saw) to the 
hysterical Ortiz; had Basque songs sung to 
the Sauls among his men till the black mood 
went; starved the community that the needs 
and even the fancies lampreys, in one case 
of the convalescent should be satisfied. He 
distrusted ecstasies and visions, he liked anger 
and passion, and when a subordinate flared up 
under rebuke, saw no great harm; sulks, or 
pious pretence of docility, he did not tolerate. 
Sloth he could not stand. A Lay- Brother, to 
his question, " For whom are you sweeping 
this corridor?" smugly answered, "For God 
and His love, your Reverence." " You are 
doing it badly enough," the Saint crisply 
answered, " if it were for man; if for God, it 
is intolerable." He liked to see his young 
men laugh; he was close friends with that 
cheerfulest of Saints, St. Philip Neri, and could 
not meet the old man in the Roman streets 
without being buttonholed by him, till, as they 
said, St. Philip had left no single button on the 
cassocks of the Roman Jesuits. In all this his 
aim was clear and steadily pursued. When he 
had got his way it was irreversible. " He has 


driven in the nail," said Cardinal Carli. " It 
will never be pulled out." 

Enough of these unessentials. See Ignatius 
at a world- wide work. From his desk at Rome 
he is corresponding with the King of Portugal. 
Madagascar, India, Ceylon, the Malay Penin 
sula, Japan, China, pass before his vision. 
Francis Xavier, the very dearest of his friends, 
is flung from Europe into that distant world. 
Of that noble career something is said below. 
Later, he will ceaselessly urge on the King, 
whose fits of apostolic ardour were but inter 
mittent; and the story of his appointment of 
Broet to help in establishing the Patriarchate 
of Ethiopia, or Abyssinia, as we say, is enter 
taining. He lays great stress on Broet s 
physical health and good looks. Salmeron 
was still a "beardless boy"; Bobadilla sickly; 
and Laynez had not much of a presence. 
To-day even it is the Jesuit s business to pray 
at regular intervals for the foreign missions; 
still, from Alaska to China, from northernmost 
Africa to southernmost, the sons of Ignatius 
have kept true to the tradition he began, pour- 
ing forth their blood like water. 

It was in 1541 that to Ireland, wilting be 
neath the furnace-breath of Henry s earliest 
persecution, Ignatius sent a mission. The 


blind Archbishop of Armagh, an exile in 
Rome, got Broet and Salmeron as Nuncios. 
They reached Ireland by way of Stirling, and 
in that grey and battered Scottish castle had 
interviews with James V., faithful to his creed. 
In thirty-four days they had traversed the 
whole of harassed Ireland, disguised, in danger 
every moment of death. Even Scotland, when 
they were forced to return thither, was 
yielding to the seducer, and they left for the 
while those chill shores. Yet the General s 
eyes strained thither always ; he loved Cardinal 
Pole, and all who in his company yonder had 
refused to bow the knee to Baal. He flung 
open his Roman College to English students, 
and still, once more, his Company is bidden 
to pray monthly for the missions of the 

Already in 1540 the Jesuits entered Germany. 
To the second Diet of Worms, at the request 
of Charles V., Ortiz went accompanied by 
Favre. Favre s keen and pure glance went at 
once to the root of the appalling evil. Not 
Scripture misinterpreted, not Lutheran con 
spiracy, but the scandal given by Catholics, was 
the cause of the apostasy. " Would that 
in this city of Worms there were at least two or 
three Churchmen not living openly in sin, or 


guilty of some notorious crime." But Favre 
saw deeper still. Even the Conference of Ratis- 
bon, when summoned, proved futile. Neither 
Charles nor Francis were sincere ; Melanchthon 
and Contarini each stood firm. Charles s offer 
of a General Council in Germany was capped 
by a similar offer from the Pope, who after all 
alone could fulfil his promise. Favre is swept 
off to Spain. Bobadilla, by Innsbruck, Vienna, 
and Nuremberg, ends by rejoining Le Jay at 
Ratisbon. Success, even mitigated, provokes 
persecution. The Jesuits are threatened with 
the Danube. "What matter," they exclaim, 
"if we enter Heaven by water or by land ?" 
Ingolstadt, Dillingen, Salzburg, hear their 
preaching, and rivers begin to flow once more 
across the desert. Catholic still are, at least in 
part, those utterly lovely towns, romantic, 
austere, and beautifully German, the standing 
disproof of the falsehood that Lutheranism is 
allied essentially with German temperament. 
Nowhere is Catholicism more alluring than in 
those ancient Churches of Mainz and Koln, in 
Bavaria, and in the mysterious Tyrol. The 
Jesuits never removed the blackening blight 
of heresy from all that land, but they rolled it 
back and circumscribed it, so that you still 
may feel, in the very air, the change from the 


balmy sunny temper of the Catholic States and 
towns to the chilled air of unbelief. 

Favre now returned, having in Spain fallen 
in with and captivated Francis of Borgia, 
who, when Marquis of Lombay, had encoun 
tered Ignatius on his way to prison at Alcala. 
Duke, by now, of Gandia, and Grandee among 
Grandees of Spain, Viceroy of Catalonia, he 
saw in the Jesuit Society a support and an ideal. 
Later he will ask admission into it, will become 
its true founder in Spain, and will] succeed 
Ignatius as third General of the Jesuits. After 
the Duke, Favre quells at Mainz the Cardinal- 
Archbishop, Albrecht von Brandenburg, the 
humanist and worldly ecclesiastic ; better still, 
Peter de Hondt, known later as Canisius, from 
Nimeguen in the Low Countries, an extra 
ordinary man, whose life is as yet far too little 
known even among his own spiritual descen 
dants. Koln was the centre of his first exploits 
and Favre was able to attend more closely to 

Paris, however, was the real colonist of 
Louvain. Thither Ribadeneira went in 1542, 
and thence the Spaniards were soon enough 
expelled. Even when politics permitted their 
return, the national hatred of the Spanish, and 
above all the educational jealousy of the 


Sorbonne, initiated against them that campaign 
of calumny (it included the Monita Seer eta) 
which has continued to our day. However, the 
Company throve, and by opening the college 
which ultimately became that of Louis le Grand, 
made it clear how definitely educational a 
policy was to be pursued by the Jesuits. 
Impossible were it to trace in detail the develop 
ment of the Order in all these countries, and 
away in Spain, where once more persecution 
arose, often owing to the mistaken zeal of good 
men, sometimes to the deliberate rivalry and 
malice of the bad, or at least of those finan 
cially and socially " in possession." 

In Italy all the large centres were evange 
lized in a manner how different from those old 
romantic expeditions of the Companions ! 
Padua, Venice, Brescia; to all went Laynez, 
astounding men with his sensational memory, 
his accurate argument, and his utterly fascinat 
ing address. 

In Rome Ignatius was more immediately 
involved. In the account of the general cam 
paign in Europe you feel him behind his men, 
organizing, encouraging, leaving wide freedom, 
yet ever the centre, subconsciously referred to 
by all at however distant outposts. Heresy 
had little to say in the centre of Christendom. 


Ignatius s work was social and spiritual rather 
than controversial. There is little in our own 
day that he did not anticipate. In 1543 St. 
Martha s, with its guild of pious women, 
rescues the fallen and anticipates the Good 
Shepherd. Convert Jews in his time were 
hardlier treated even than many a convert 
Anglican of to-day. At least no married 
parson, whose conversion is of ten enough un 
equalled for courage by any deed of battle, 
was more helpless than he. For this class 
Ignatius institutes a welcome. Orphanages for 
boys and girls, and a home for girls in danger, 
are built, too, by him. Even art. . . . The 
much-maligned Society, at its birth at least, 
aimed at the highest it knew of. Our Lady 
della Strada had become too small. First, tin 
kering went on; bits (how characteristically !) 
were added according to need, not design. The 
grandee soul of Borgia will revolt at this. He 
determines to rebuild the Church in suitable 
magnificence. " The most celebrated man now 
known," Ignatius writes, "Michael Angelo, 
who is doing St. Peter s, is undertaking the 
work " and gratis, he hoped ! The plan fell 
through ; the Gesu was started after the great 
man s death. 
In 1550 St. Francis Borgia had begun the 


Roman College, which Ignatius staffed entirely 
with Professors trained at Paris. All others 
he utterly refused. Brilliant was its output of 
solid worth and its history of work. In 1552 
the German college completed the tale of his 
Roman creations, and its lobster-scarlet cas 
socks are still one of the joys of Rome. 

One international sphere of the Saint s 
influence must still be mentioned, being nothing 
less than the Council of Trent. In 1546 it was 
begun, and lasted long. Of course the Jesuits, 
conscious of their ideal and even vow to accept 
no dignities, sent no Bishops or Cardinals there. 
But Laynez and Salmeron were present as Papal 
theologians; Favre was kept back in Spain; 
but Canisius from Koln represented the Prince- 
Bishop Le Jay stood for the Cardinal Arch 
bishop of Augsburg; Cuvillon came from Bel 
gium, sent by the Duke of Bavaria. Laynez 
and Salmeron had to be given new cassocks 
for the sittings; even so, such modesty of 
demeanour and appearance was unprecedented. 
So was their method, insisted on by Ignatius, 
of extreme deference, solicitude to avoid 
wounding, quiet, repose, and humble offices in 
hospitals and churches. After all the two 
were very young, and above all they were 
not, Ignatius was never tired of reiterating. 


ecclesiastical grandees. Throughout the first 
part of the Council the two delegates had 
been in close correspondence with Ignatius. 
Laynez, in the second assembling (the first 
had been stopped, it is recalled, by outbreak 
of fever), mentioned that he would quote no 
author whose works he had not read in their 
entirety. He quoted thirty-six, his astound 
ing memory enabling him to repeat long pas 
sages. One of these authors, by the way, had 
written twenty- five folios. . . . The Council, 
bewildered, declared, when he fell sick of an 
ague, that it would only sit on the days that he 
felt well. Ignatius suggested Nadal as substi 
tute. Salmeron answered, that two men in 
health could not do what Laynez did in sick 
ness. There is no need to follow further 
details in this episode. It has proved how vast 
already and how powerful was the influence 
pouring from Ignatius at Rome through 
Catholic Europe. 

These details have been accumulated to give 
an impression of the powerful and ramifying 
influence of Ignatius, of his creative work, and 
of his special role . He not only raised his army, 
but led it; he not only conceived the glorious 
ideal, but realized, methodically and painfully, 
jits machinery. And all this quietly, without 


advertisement, without rhetoric or appeal to 
sentiment, above all without worldly weapons, 
without money, coercion, social or eccle- 
astical handicaps. Such, too, was the work 
of Xavier, as we shall see. The spiritual co 
efficient in all this was, I believe, very simple. 
Not that Ignatius s soul was not delicate and 
sensitive to a degree, not that all manner of 
subtle psychological threads might not be 
detected, linking together the various activities 
of his life, nor that nationality, earlier career, 
and temperament did not colour and account 
for much that was afterwards done, or at least 
the manner of the doing it. 

It is only in its outward influence that I hope 
here to assign, in a very slight and one-sided 
manner, that spiritual coefficient. 

That it was very simple is, after all, a neces 
sary affirmation. Ignatius was a Spaniard, and 
as such alien, roughly speaking, to all that was 
German or Italian. That is, the Reformation 
and the Renaissance might, and did, force them 
selves upon his notice, but would not find an 
echo in his deeper feeling. Presumably what 
was Teuton must have appeared to him down 
right barbarism, while as for Luther s per 
sonality, when he had knowledge of it (the 
miner s son was eight years older than Don 



Inigo), it must have affected him with sheer 
disgust. Yet it had more chance, one would 
have thought, of awakening sympathy than had 
Calvin s. True, Calvin possessed a legal mind, 
and loved codification, and worked by hard 
logic ; but where Calvin was cold and chilling, 
iron-bound and repressive, "middle-class " by 
essential nature, and tyrannical with all the 
ruthlessness of that temperament when by 
chance it wins out topmost, Ignatius was fer 
vent, dashing, inspiring, even when most true 
to his love of order, and a man of the people in 
the truest and most direct sense (and nowhere 
will you find such absolute good-fellowship 
between Prince and peasant as in Spain, the 
land of the Grandees), even while most utterly 
aristocratic in tendency and action. If you 
insist on calling Ignatius a democrat, that is 
legitimate enough if you will call Luther a 
demagogue. Ignatius, at the very plainest 
and bluntest of his writings, which is in the 
Exercises, or of his action, which was in his 
popular sermons and catechisms, retains and 
almost trades upon his ultimate aloofness, self- 
discipline, self-respect, that tremendous drilling 
of the personality which the gentleman and 
especially the Spanish gentleman regarded as 
a duty and a birthright. One page of Luther s 


violent, coarse, comic, and obscene corre 
spondence, or of his vulgar talk, qualities which 
made enormously for his popularity in a 
German world, would have revolted Ignatius 
and shocked him in his most sensitive nerves . 
With the frosts of Calvin and the turbid self- 
squandering of Luther, and with the two Refor 
mations which took their colour from each, 
Ignatius was utterly, therefore, out of soul- 
sympathy. He registered each as a fact, and 
hurled a tremendous army against each; but 
he could only give the general direction and 
the momentum, and no detailed strategics or 
tactics were to be expected from him.* Here 
history has been unjust, though now the various 
myths are evaporating. Luther is taking his 
proper and rather scandalous place among 
sixeenth- century personalities; no one ever 

* For the semi- Catholic reformers e.g., the early 
Erasmus he had, again, a Spanish soldier s dislike. 
They appeared to him flippant, and perhaps worse. 
A soldier is sensitive about the honour of his regiment 
even when it is out of hand and needs drastic cor 
rection. He would object strongly were one of its 
members to fill Society paragraphs with racy anec 
dotes against it. Persiflage was a weapon Ignatius 
did not like to use. Erasmus himself, shocked later at 
his early companions and their tragic destiny, 
returned upon his traces and would have found a 
friend in St. Ignatius. 


loved Calvin, I suppose, but even he needed to 
be shifted from his saintly pedestal. With the 
awakening of our historical sense to the real 
quality of these personages has come, more 
slowly perhaps, our appreciation of how utterly 
destructive was their work. Of genuine Luther- 
anism there remains practically nothing. Cal 
vinism has patently lapsed into unbelief. Such 
religion as survives in the pulpits of either 
reform is really a reinfiltration of Catholic 
creed. Trent undoubtedly has reaffirmed and 
thereby confirmed the old Catholic dogma, and 
the Vatican is merely its continuation. This, 
in the series of modern revisions of tradition, is 
perhaps the latest namely, that within the 
world of revealed religion it was undoubtedly 
Trent which conquered, and, as has well been 
said, the enduring work was done, not by those 
who would then have plucked up and torn 
down, but by those who buttressed and rebuilt 
and planted, and that the really triumphant 
name is here not Luther but Laynez. Yet 
without Ignatius Laynez would have been 

In the same way a Spaniard did not admire 
Italy, which appeared to him at once scanda 
lous and weak. A weak wicked man is an 
unpleasant spectacle, and the Spanish nation- 


alities, even when not edifying, were not deli 
cately vicious, sweetly dissolute, and neo- 
Greek. I imagine that the Renaissance pagan 
ism, lovely in Italy with all the iridescence of 
interior decay, would have been unintelligible 
frankly to a Spaniard, and disgusting when he 
was forced to attend to it. However, it is the 
mark of a clever man, with an eye for business, 
to detect what has come to stay, and it is clear 
to us at any rate that the Greek, having come 
back into the world, had come for good, unless, 
indeed, that whole world was ultimately to be 
recast, as some incline to think is even now 
happening. It is, next, the eye of a keen 
intuitionalist which detects where really is 
the germ of life in what, mismanaged, breeds 
so much death. It belongs in fine to a genius 
who is also humble enough to be a Saint, to 
detect both these things even when he person 
ally is incapable of coping adequately with the 
situation. If you can see what is wanted, and 
equip and inspire others to supply it, it does 
not matter very much whether you can provide 
the thing with your own fingers. After all, 
Wagner played the piano very badly, though 
he would scarcely believe it, even when Liszt 
told him so. Ignatius, who had no philosophical 
brain, and no literary talent whatever, none 


the less saw the point of the Renaissance up 
heaval, just as he did that of the Reformation, 
and hurled a second army against the invader. 
But observe, a different sort of army an army 
destined not to destroy, but to capture: not 
to annihilate, but to assimilate. He saw the 
germ of life in culture, in Hellenism ; he fastened 
on it, baptized it, Catholicized it, and turned 
his Order into the greatest educational engine 
Europe has seen.* 

The guiding spirit within Ignatius must then 
have been wide and general in its illumination 
and its impulse, seeing that he shows no sign in 
all his life of having been what his birth infal 
libly suggests he was not namely, a subtly 
alert theologian, or a sensitive, artistic, and 
literary soul. He got his certificates of ortho 
doxy, and passed decent examinations in 
ordinary subjects, and that was all. 

Perhaps the political state of Europe, and of 
Spain especially, gives us a little light. In a 

* I do not for a moment deny that just as the 
necessary controversy involved in fighting heiesy may 
breed a deplorable and most destructive habit of 
mind, so the deliberate effort after culture may end 
in all that is least vital, most academic, most untrue 
(in reality) in the uncaptured spirit of Rome or Athens. 
But I am not discussing the ultimate success or un- 
success of the Jesuits in controversy or in education. 


word, the feudal system was finished with, and 
the epoch of absolutisms had begun. In Spain 
especially the Moors and the Jews were done 
with now, and Cardinal Ximenes willed to 
unite the old kingdoms of the Peninsula into 
one Spanish monarchy. It has been said that 
to one man only in Spain is Ignatius to be 
fittingly compared namely, Philip II. To him 
has been added the name of Cortez. Anyhow, 
the point is, that absolutism and centralization 
were the idees directrices of that period, and 
Ignatius was not more than another free from 
them. The period of marauding expeditions, 
of Free Company crusading, was quickly over, 
and only in the duty of his men to hold them 
selves in complete readiness, as a body, for any 
and every duty to which they might be turned, 
was that originally dominant characteristic to 
survive. One tremendous discipline of dogma, 
of morals, of ecclesiastical obedience, formed 
undoubtedly part of the great General s ideal. 
In every nation he descried a rebellion against 
the hierarchy, tradition, code a centrifugal 
force which he quite well saw would issue (as 
it has issued when given play) into anarchy. 
One great army, thinking the same thoughts, 
cherishing the same instincts, obedient to one 
word of command, he was prepared to fling 


against his century and the coming centuries. 
He flung it, with varying success. It is not our 
business to relate its fortunes, nor its reappear 
ance in a changed world where there are no 
more Kings, nor what its fortunes will be, or 
can be, in our post-revolutionary Europe. If 
the Society is still to do the work its Founder 
foresaw, or, better, if, unforeseeing, his genius 
yet equipped it with a machinery able to work 
in these utterly new conditions, how great then, 
greater indeed than we should have dreamed, 
was that genius. Or rather, how victorious 
was that Spirit with which he would be proved 
to have infused the body he built up. And 
there is this in favour of survival and continued 
work that it was to the Spirit Ignatius trusted. 
If it were not for Spirit, unity becomes uni 
formity, and in the Society would infallibly 
be reproduced the series which is discernible in 
all the great European autocracies, whereby the 
repression of spontaneous life in the parts has 
meant the gradual but steady disruption of the 

In the Spanish nature is a certain fund of 
rationalism, and a tremendous tendency to 
realism. In Ignatius s spiritual life both facts 
are apparent, separately and conjoined. In 
the first part of the Exercises sheer argument 


predominates. God exists, and created me. 
Why ? His claim is infinite and absolute, and 
guaranteed by eternal sanctions. My use of 
the world I live in becomes wholly an affair of 
proportion. All sane men will therefore order 
themselves obediently to God. But even here 
the Flesh and Blood of Christ nailed to the 
Cross is upheaved among the syllogisms. In 
his journeys to Jerusalem, in his " applications 
of the senses," of which so much of the Exer 
cises is composed, Ignatius reveals himself a 
relentless realist. He invents an elaborate 
parallel. The King goes out to fight Christ 
has His own crusade. How will the Knight, 
not a recreant, make answer ? Two Standards 
are upreared the world s and our Lord s. 
What shall be our offer ? Logically once more, 
rules for choice are laid down. A mixture of 
rigid reason and enthusiastic elan issue into a 
tremendous determination to face the world for 
Christ. The Exercises at first were meant to be 
made but once, or rarely ; their constant repeti 
tion was a development. They led up to one 
huge Choice, to be unflinchingly adhered to.* 

* I should like to emphasize the personal impression 
I derive from the Exercises, of his extreme simplicity 
of character. Again and again, even when most 
shrewd or valiant, they strike one as positively child- 


Ignatius saw therefore a very simple series, 
constituting relationships, to be worked out to 
their logical consequences God, Christ, the 
soul; other souls, Satan, the world. What do 
I resolve from this ? I will fight myself, and 
then the world, for God and Christ, and will do 
so not alone, but with others, therefore under 
direction, therefore with utter obedience. It 
is frankly to mystical considerations that he 
trusts, to insure and give ease to this obedience. 
Doubtless he gives, rather perfunctorily, the 
academic arguments on its behalf and aids to 
its achievement but the supreme fact to 
which he trusts is still spiritual, namely, that 
God, who called the soul to these perceptions, 
choices, and life, will give it grace to be obedient, 
and will therefore assure not only the spiritu 
ality of its obedience, but its relative facility. 
When, not superstitiously, but in the spirit of 
faith, you believe that God has called you to 

like in directness of thought or expression. The 
codification of little reflections or practices which had 
helped him, the sudden flashes of humour or pic 
turesque diction among the commonplace, the occa 
sional lapses in order or connection natural in one 
unused to dealing with ideas and their expression all 
this conspires to make the Exercises a pathetic and 
human document, as well as an ascetical weapon. 


a state of life, and directs you therein con 
formably to its organization, it is not suicide, 
nor self -crippling, but logical and decent, and 
in fine joyous to put yourself sincerely and 
wholly into His hands even in detail, and so go 

Such was the spiritual impulse which should 
issue, Ignatius hoped, into the genuine Jesuit.* 

* He was all eagerness that in detail his subordi 
nates should be trusted, and rely on their own 
initiative. Not only did his general attitude towards 
rules and spirit make this clear, but definite instances 
can be quoted, showing him annoyed with people who 
appealed too constantly and minutely for direction. 
" I made you Rector," he said in effect; " rule."" He 
wanted governors, not mere administrators. He was 
prepared for the widest diversity of action, provided 
the spirit was identical. Herein, again, he is at one 
with Paul. 



" Thee, God, I come from, to Thee go : 
All day long I like fountain flow 
From Thy Hand out, swayed about, 
Mote-like, in Thy mighty glow " 


" Las inteligencias mas humildas comprenden las 
ideas mas elevadas; y los que economizan la verdad 
y la publican s61o cuando estan saguros de ser 
comprendidos viven en giandisimo error, porque la 
verdad, aunque no sea comprendida, ejerce misteriosas 
influenciasy conduce por caminos ocultos a las sublimi- 
dades mas puras, alas que brotan incomprensibiles y 
esponteas de las almas vulgares." A. GANIVET, 
Idearium Espanol.* 

WE have been led to recognize that Ignatius 
viewed the world in a way peculiar, largely, to 
himself, and unlike the majority at any rate of 
his fellow-men, because in all things he intro 
duced the thought of God. To every question 
man can ask concerning the world and his place 

* This is quoted in Miss Boyle O Reilly s spirited 
and picturesque book, Heroic Spain. 


in it he would have an answer ready to his 
thought and lips in which that Name was 
included. All his views upon events, from 
those of international down to those of merely 
domestic or even personal importance, were 
taken from a centre- point which was none other 
than His Majesty, as he loved to say, God, 
namely "our Creator and Lord." And be 
cause his life was throbbing with outward 
energy, he wished not alone to submit to Provi 
dence, to accept what was " sent " him, but he 
desired to give himself and his men " wholly 
unto labour," to do work for God, and with 
God s help. 

Accustomed as we may be to consider Car- 
lyle s judgments upon men for the most part 
entirely wrong, that he should have landed 
upon the exact opposite of this verdict on 
Ignatius would be enough to show that the 
very sources of his appreciation were poisoned, 
and that the light within him, whereby he 
guided his thought and pen, was darkness. That 
a Macaulay and most others should have recog 
nized, and generously, the superb natural 
honesty, self-forgetfulness, devotion, and suc 
cess of Ignatius and his first Companions, but 
have missed wholly their springs of conduct and 
ambition, is less, if at all, surprising. In our 


country the whole notion of an interior super 
natural life, in the Catholic sense, has vanished. 
At best these writers would see, when " God " 
is in a man s life, a new motive-idea, which 
makes him do other things than do his fellows ; 
but that the whole interior essential life of the 
man has been raised to a supernatural con 
dition is what would never reach their realiza 
tion. I need scarcely say that though visions 
and the like will be referred to, those ex 
periences (however they may have to be 
defined by theologians) are not the cause, nor 
the essence, but the accidental concomitants of 
supernatural sanctity. Ignatius took them at 
best as God s approval of his plans or actions. 
The Catholic accepts on faith the fact of this 
supernatural union of his soul with God; he 
scarcely hopes for greater success in explaining 
his belief to another than one would who should 
attempt to describe the fact of life to the 
inanimate, for not even to himself can a living 
man adequately describe the immediate intui 
tion which tells him he is alive, and, as I said, 
normally the Catholic must believe in his own 
supernatural life, not because he feels it, but 
because he is assured of it by the supreme 
Authority to which be bows. 
In Ignatius that inmost life became always 


more and more conterminous with his whole 
conscious being. At first its invasions into 
his awareness were troubling and violent, and 
issued into amazing irregularities of effort and 
even of idea. Thus, when it pushed him to 
wards self-sacrifice, he embarked upon a series 
of penitential actions, in doing which, as he tells 
us frankly, his whole pleasure lay in the fact 
that he was "going one better" than the 
Saints he read of. Yet just that was the re 
sponse God first willed from him courageous, 
unintelligent imitation, or even rivalry. He 
taught him " as a schoolmaster teaches a little 
boy," and led him from the crude action ever 
La wards to the purer and more spiritual. So, 
too, at first he could not pray, or rather " medi 
tate," as he called the spontaneous reactions of 
the soul to the touch of God. When he felt he 
ought to respond somehow to the summoning 
Voice, whose language still seemed meaning 
less, he would read the correct prayer, or the 
dramatic, challenging Passion story, in a book. 
When he felt it his duty to make some explicit 
acknowledgment of the supreme mysteries of 
faith, such as the Trinity, he laboriously prayed 
first to each Person separately, then to all Three 
together. Suddenly into his brain swam the 
image of three spinet keys (joined at the root, 


as it were), or a three-toothed comb. To this 
vulgar symbol responded a whole spiritual up 
heaval and a gigantic joy. The material co 
efficient was ever less and less necessary to his 
spiritual perception. At no time did he see 
our Lord or our Lady in human form, even 
when it was on the human person that his 
thought was resting. From a vague and form 
less phantasm a white irradiating centre, a 
downward light : anything was enough to start, 
as it were, the psychic series he passed 
almost directly to the immediate intuition of 
the Truth. The artist or musician or poet 
will at once understand this possibility. To 
them even the " meanest " flower that blows 
can give the thoughts that lie too deep for 
tears, and, indeed, the joys that are too deep 
even for thought itself. A wood- violet is as 
potent as the rose or honeysuckle. And if it 
be said that still is it the inexpressible beauty 
of line and texture, of tint or subtle fragrance, 
which in the flower makes the heart of the 
worshipper feel ready to break, the musician 
will tell you that at times the clumsiest sug 
gestion of the true music, the most awkward 
of amateur fumbling, is enough to send the 
soul, drunken with delight, singing among the 
stars. And the poet will find whole worlds of 


truth and beauty " often flowering in a lonely 
word." A little like this Ignatius would sud 
denly be made conscious by the help of some 
trivial materialism of spiritual real forces 
masterfully remodelling his substantial soul. 
The singularly halting words in which he ex 
presses himself are like the spontaneous out 
cries of the astonished artist or lover (for love 
is at the bottom of all this) at the sight of that 
with which he hungers for union, or finds 
himself mysteriously in union. Just as to the 
very responsive soul, a single word cyclamen, 
iris, Sicily; Phaedra, Helen, Isolde; "grace," 
"spirit," "life" is enough to originate a 
whole tempest of desire, a whole benediction of 
embrace, so will it respond preferably by soli 
tary cries, detached exclamations, even in 
articulate sighs and yearnings, like Joseph of 
Cupertino, or Francis himself. Till the end 
Ignatius s way of describing his experiences 
remained naive, partly because he was quite 
spontaneous and wrote for no other eye, partly 
because he would not spend labour to express the 
inexpressible, and partly because when he did so 
labour, his words have the stilted foolishness 
which all jargon, legal, philosophical, artistic, 
has for the layman. Thus he wrote, alluding to 
himself now in the first, now in the third person. 



"During my usual prayer, though there was 
not much at first, after the second half, his soul 
felt great devotion, and was exceedingly con 
soled; it saw also a certain object, and a form 
of very bright light. While they were making 
the altar ready, Jesus presented Himself to 
his mind, and invited me to follow Him, for I 
am quite convinced that He is the head and 
guide of the Society. This idea disposed my 
mind to fervour and to tears, but also to 
perseverance. I had no other consolations. 
The Holy Trinity itself seemed to confirm my 
decision, as the Son communicated Himself 
thus to me, for I recalled to mind the time 
when the Father deigned to place me with 
His Son. This lasted the whole time and 
even after Mass, and throughout the day. 
Whenever I thought of Jesus, this loving 
feeling and this fixed purpose returned to my 

Knowing that Ignatius was thus constantly 
in touch with God, and that he had the habit 
of noting down what he experienced, Nadal 
determined to ask him to tell him about it. 
One day, in 1551, Ignatius, talking to Nadal, 
suddenly broke off, and said: "And but an 
instant ago I was higher than heaven !" It 
was the moment when the " bright cloud " 


vanished. Transfiguration time was now over, 
and he had been left with the customary 
" Jesus only," hidden inside his heart. Nadal 
tried to allude to this, but Ignatius changed 
the subject. Nadal insisted. " Tell us at 
least about your conversion." The Saint said, 
most humanly, that he had too many other 
things to think about. Still he asked Nadal, 
Polanco, and a third to say three Masses to 
find out if really it were desirable. " We shall 
all think," he answered, " what we think now." 
" Bo what I tell you," said the Saint, very 
gently. They did so, they made the expected 
answer, and Ignatius agreed. Next year Nadal 
asked him if he had done anything. " Noth 
ing." In 1553 he made a beginning, but let it 
drop for another year. In 1554 Nadal attacked 
him again with some energy, and Ignatius 
yielded, choosing Gonzalez for amanuensis. 
Ignatius had already told Gonzalez he would 
do this in, as I said, 1553, in August, adding ho 
hoped to live another three or four months to 
finish the affair. Still he did nothing, only 
telling Gonzalez he was to remind him of it 
daily. Then the daily reminder was to occur 
each Sunday only. However, Ignatius began, 
Gonzalez took notes, and Nadal, on his 
return, joined his entreaties, and so, with end- 



less interruptions, delays, and reluctance, the 
story was carried forward. 

In the unique and priceless document into 
which these conversations issued Called the 
Testament of St. Ignatius, and prized (as first 
hand evidence concerning their Founder) be 
yond any mere biography by his followers 
we can read an account of the Saint from his 
youth to the earlier years of the Jesuits resi 
dence in Rome. It then breaks off abruptly 
with the words : " And now Master Natalis can 
tell you the rest." Gonzalez, unconscionably 
curious, asked all sorts of questions about the 
first writing of the Exercises, which was very 
gradual, and consisted in noting down for future 
use anything which each several experience 
suggested as likely to prove serviceable. He 
also inquired about the making of the Con 
stitutions, and Ignatius, sending for Gonzalez 
before supper, was found by him in a con 
dition bordering upon ecstasy. In this state 
he made a most solemn protestation that in 
what he had said he had exaggerated nothing 
(as indeed from its frequent flashes of dry 
humour, and above all from its relentless in 
clusion of commonplace and bathos, we well 
might guess), that since he had begun to serve 
God he had never consented to grievous sin, 


that his facility in " finding God " had in 
creased throughout his life, and that now he 
could "find God" as often and whenever he 

Gonzalez asked Ignatius to lend him his 
spiritual notes, but the Saint refused, and 
afterwards burnt them nearly all. 

Were we to ask ourselves in what this 
intense preoccupation with God, present in 
his soul, showed itself most convincingly an 
affair, not of human choice or effort merely, 
but of continued response to a Divine touch 
or appeal, we might perhaps find an answer in 
its permanence. In the romantic mise en scene 
of Manresa, in a mental atmosphere of violent 
other- worldliness, and in the all but inevitable 
disturbances of equilibrium due to solitude, 
savage penances, and riveting of the attention 
on a single subject, it were not astonishing if 
the converted soldier had filled himself with 
the obsession of God. But that despite his 
progressive abandonment of all the more 
startling of his exterior aids he should have 
remained absolutely true to the interior sum 
mons, speaks loudly for its independent and 
imperative nature. He had to return to a per 
centage of his old life, but no more, and never 
to its ideals and motives. He had to leave to 


one side mortifications, and yet be mortified; 
to resume the decencies of respectability, yet 
not be tamed nor mediocre ; to be worldly-wise 
and make friends with culture, yet never 
become worldly; to "walk with crowds nor 
lose his virtue, and talk with Kings nor lose 
the common touch "; to "fill the unforgiving 
minute with sixty seconds worth of distance 
run," yet never be dazzled by the success of 
what he did, nor even flustered by the multi 
plicity of his business, never dismayed by 
inevitable failures. In fact, throughout it all, 
in a life which was one long distraction, in the 
stress of European persecution and the huge 
temptation of European flattery, he yet ex 
perienced it to be easier and easier to " find 
God," and again and again perceived that 
God " placed him with " his Son. In these 
two perceptions is to be diagnosed a great 
intensity and depth of mystical life. 

Vast things were proceeding in the soul of 
this quiet man, whom you would have met any 
day in the streets of Rome and passed with 
out a glance. He walked with a stick, slowly, 
limping a little, and was dressed in a plain 
cassock, with a voluminous black, high-collared 
cloak. His big sombrero flapped over his face, 
and his head being bent for the most part 


slightly forward, he would not have been the 
first to see you. His companion, Ribadaneira, 
as a rule, while he was in Rome, would have 
recognized you and called Father Ignatius s 
attention to you. Ignatius s manner was the 
perfection of grave Spanish courtesy, and many 
an old priest and aristocrat shared it. It was 
his smile and his rare upward glance, when his 
eyes met yours (Ignatius was not tall), which 
transfigured him. His forehead was very 
broad and massive, and the eyes, to my think 
ing, rather wide apart, but, given the breadth 
of forehead, not disquietingly so. More than 
once it has been noticed how like, for delicacy 
and refinement of chin, he is to the statues of 
Augustus. That is so, and the parallel can be 
pursued. Both had a certain drawn look 
about the eyes, and between the eyes and nose 
a tired and rather disillusioned look in the 
Emperor, but in the Saint just a world- weari 
ness amply compensated by the heavenly 
vision which gives so sweet a serenity to his 
countenance. The lips of both are subtle and 
closely pressed, but in Augustus they are cold 
and merciless; in Ignatius their very force 
speaks of a self-conquest which indicates no 
cruelty. The nose in Ignatius is extraordin 
arily sensitive and aquiline ; in Augustus, as life 


advanced, it thickened.* But the man who 
created the Roman Empire went in purple and 
fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day, 
and got himself adored, when so it served, for 
God. Ignatius fasted, and wore threadbare 
clothes, and his face was worn spiritual by the 
tireless file of prayer. And again, the Caesar s 
face was set in the ruthless chill of one who 
fulfils a harsh and mighty destiny, disbelieving 
(to be truthful) in anything beyond himself, 
and even in himself. Ignatius, disbelieving in 
his lonely self, indeed, yet knew and affirmed 
that through him God was acting, and from 
this Father and Captain of his soul he received 
not only power but peace. 

Thus, then, the end found him. 

In 1554 his health broke. Reluctantly he 
accepted an assistant, Nadal. He recovered, 
but was still weak, and transacted business 
lying down. He definitely grew worse in the 
summer of 1556, and made over the manage 
ment of the Society to a board of three. He 
left the suffocating city for the Jesuit country- 

* I assume that the famous bust of the boy 
Octavian, if not contemporary with his adolescence, 
which was not famous, is at least a very clever and 
psychically accurate "rejuvenation" of his well- 
recognizable adult featuies. 


house, built not a year ago. The move was 
thought rash damp walls would be dangerous 
for him, and in fact so much worse he grew that 
he returned to a city in terror of Alva at its 
gates. In the Professed House, whither he 
went, a few (one, Laynez) were considered sick 
to death. Ignatius was thought a little 
feverish or not even that, just weak. On 
Wednesday, July 29, he asked, however, that 
the doctor, calling to see the others, might 
visit him too, having confessed and com 
municated the day before. On Thursday 
evening he sent for Polanco, told him he was 
dyuig, and that he must inform the Pope, and 
get his blessing for himself and another Father. 
Polanco expressed himself incredulous. The 
doctors did not think him in any danger. God 
would spare him for many a long year. . . . 
"No," said Ignatius; he was dying. Polanco 
could not believe him; he had letters to write 
to foreign parts. Could he not leave the mes 
sage till to-morrow ? No, Ignatius preferred 
this evening to to-morrow, and the sooner, in 
fact, the better. Still he left himself entirely 
in Polanco s hands. Polanco knew best. . . . 
Polanco consulted the doctor, who refused to 
pronounce that night ; next day he would give 
an opinion on Ignatius s condition. Ignatius 


accepted this decision; he ate with a good 
appetite at supper. Polanco went to write his 
letters with an easy conscience. The night 
closed in, and the Saint was no otherwise than 
as usual, and talked till midnight. He called 
the infirmarian, who slept in the next room, 
less often than of wont, and after midnight his 
restlessness grew quiet. 

You still can visit that little room, where the 
old worm-eaten wood of door and window- 
frames shows pathetically against the decorated 
walls, and can go out upon the balcony where 
the old man used to stand to watch the stars, 
as so long ago he had from that earlier sick 
chamber at Loyola. How sordid earth had 
seemed to him when he had had stars to look 
at ! ... In each room he died to an old life. 
Many Saints have since done worship in this 
humble little chamber of the Gesii ; it has grown 
sacred by their coming and going, and by the 
oblation there of the imperishable Mass. Dear, 
though, is it before all else, for the hours of that 
uncomraded night of dying, when one Saint, 
all alone, made his supreme sacrifice to God. 
Long ago he had said that but few minutes would 
be needed by him for full restoration of serenity 
were the Pope to bid him dissolve his Com 
pany. Now he had these hours of this one 


night in which to listen to the final call of 
renunciation. The soldier s life, the lover s 
life, had long ago been done with; the life of 
travel, of wide-eyed apostolate across Europe, 
was finished with, too, long since. Now it 
was to the Exercises and the Constitutions, 
to the brethren who had replaced those first 
and dearest Companions, to the destined 
successors who should, as far as might be, 
understand him and carry on his work, to all 
that work and the Company itself, that he was 
being schooled to say his unheard farewell. 
One sound alone was caught by the dozing 
lay-brother during the night, the voice of 
Ignatius repeating the lonely words : " GOD, 
GOD !" 

At that moment nothing short of the Ulti 
mate, Infinite, and Eternal could be of service 
to the man who was leaving the shadows and 
the symbols. 

The dawn came; some attendants and two 
doctors arrived. Ignatius looked cheerful and 
well. Two eggs were to be beaten up for him. 
A priest entered while the Brother was busy 
over this, and lo, in the brief interspace the 
great change had come. There was an outcry. 
The Brother dropped the glass, and rushed for 
a confessor. They shouted for Polanco, who 


hurried to the Vatican. But in a great silence, 
without confessor or Sacraments or Papal 
blessing, Ignatius died. 

Thus have we dared, from our manifold and 
terrible distance, to speak of Ignatius s life, 
and even of his soul ; from our grey and modern 
England to try to catch the expression of that 
Spanish face, two worlds away from us, and 
lit almost, as it seems, by a different sun than 
ours. Thus we, with half his years to our 
score, have discussed this wise old priest, and 
in our times of tamed audacities, unhazardous 
ideal, and cult of the commonplace, the prudent 
and the profitable, we have bestowed upon this 
imperial man the tribute of our admiration. 
Not from conceit, God knows, nor with the 
patronage of critics. It has been something 
at least to sit in the glow of his strong sunlike 
life, hopeful that the dust we have tossed up 
may serve at least to make his pure beams in 
which it dances seem more golden and more 
living to our gaze. 

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" I have heard our great modeller of men, Ignatius, 
say that Francis Xavier was, at first, the stiffest clay 
he had ever handled." POLANCO. 

IN all literatures the roman d?un gentilhomme 
pauvre has been a favourite. Everybody 
loves, even when they smile at, the shabby, 
gallant figure cavalier, condottiere; trouba 
dour, if you will; highwayman, even; each an 
adventurer in his way; a romantic, honourable, 
unworldly worldling, assisted by little save his 
own wits, his merry humour, his resource, his 
pluck. Schoolboys adore d Artagnan, with his 
threadbare cloak, and great battered leather 
boots, his faithful sword, and his indomitable 
musketeers. Soon after schooldays, how irre 
sistible is Cyrano de Bergerac somewhat, of 
course, of a Gascon mauvais sujet ; reduced 
almost to the pawning of his baron s torque for 
the price of the necessary crust; and, after his 
packed life of fighting, scholarship, gallantry, 
and self-sacrifice, carrying into God s presence- 


chamber nothing save his plume but that, 
sans tache. Nearer to us are these foolish, gal 
lant gentlemen, never quite broken by the 
hard knocks of Fate, than the few great show- 
conquerors of history, having it all their own 
way from the beginning, just as the starry 
knights of fairy tale Lohengrin, St. George 
are somewhat less human and less lovable than 
a Don Quixote. What if the Spaniard did at 
times run atilt at windmills ? For him, at 
least, it was a genuine fight and a hazard; 
while from the start, one knows, the poor 
dragon never has his chance against the magic 
lance and helmet, and the red-crossed buckler. 
I would like to argue that in the life of Don 
Francisco de Xavier y Jaxu, the brilliant, un- 
moneyed, proud, tender-hearted, indomitable 
Basque, is all the charm, all the dash, all the 
high colour of the heroes of romance. Them 
we love, knowing them to be creatures, in the 
main, of fancy ; here is one whose story is estab 
lished on the rock of human history, while the 
glory which bathes him is no dream-halo, but 




" Then, welcome each rebuff 

That turns earth s smoothness rough, 
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand, but go ! 
Be our joys three parts pain ! 
Strive, and hold cheap the strain : 
Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the 
throe !" 



EDUCATION, we keep hearing nowadays, must 
keep the children happy. In practice, this 
seems to mean that they must be kept amused. 
For richer children, luxuries; for poor, at least 
amusements. Hence " schools of play," 
" revels " carefully rehearsed, the methodical 
merriment of dances antiquarianly exact. 
Drudgery and grind are to disappear; children 
are spontaneously to rush to the schoolroom, 
itself a palatial haunt of higher art. The very 
toys are decorative, the very grammars enter- 


taining. Not for a moment am I to discuss 
the utility of all this. Only I maintain most 
stoutly that the sum total of good character, 
and therefore of happiness I do not say of 
immediate pleasure is not by one degree the 
greater for all this than in the days when edu 
cation was an austere affair. That practical 
psychologist, Mr. James (and not he alone), has 
preached the panegyric of that forgotten virtue, 
poverty. Education once could be, and often 
was, sober to the verge, and over the verge, of 
sternness even in the wealthiest setting nay, 
at the very Court ; and though violent reactions 
most likely followed often enough upon the 
heels of emancipation, yet it may well be 
thought that a certain high essential value, a 
sound and penetrative quality, was infused into 
the child, which survived the period of lawless 
ness and revolt, and saved him throughout 
from the effects of that " trashiness of fibre " 
we so anxiously and so often diagnose in the 
pleasurably nurtured children of to-day. 

Xavier s education was austere, his child 
hood happy, his character firm. 

His home, and therefore his name, reached 
him through his mother. Dona Maria de 
Azpilcueta was the daughter of an impoverished 
gentleman whose little castle, like our north- 


land border-towers, defended the Franceward 
frontier of Spain in the valley of Baztan. 
Through her mother, Dona Joana de Azuarez, 
her distant ancestry found itself linked with 
the Kings of Navarre and Aragon alike. Thus 
it was that the royal fortress of Xavier came 
to Dona Maria for palacio. 

To reach it, you abandon the softer Basque- 
land scenery for the sun-scorched territory of 
the Ebro. The ground was rough and stony; 
roads were wretched; mules made a difficult 
ascent to the village of Xavier, with its enor 
mous view of bleached sierras and parched soil. 
The scene was all palest blues and browns; 
hills and plains alike burnt biscuit colour; hills 
shadowed with dim browns and greys where 
ravines broke the rocks, and plains streaked 
with the dazzling white of torrent-beds. Dim 
pine-woods set a blue shadow here and there, 
but above it all spread the Spanish sky, dancing 
with sunlight, so tingling with heat that the 
very blue faints into colourlessness. Such is 
Xavier in the summer; the winters are terrible. 

The fortress, though small, had its frowning 
dignity a moat, a battlemented wall, a 
drawbridge leading to a stout-built gate-house ; 
then the wide court round the keep. The 
keep was a gloomy cube flanked by four turrets, 



and pierced by loopholes only. Enormous 
stones fayaded it, and, sculptured with blazons, 
were wedged round the pointed arch of its one 
grim door. Even in the central court another 
tower faced you, for a final pouring down of 
molten lead and boiling liquids on the invader. 
Narrow winding passages within the walls 
showed iron- clamped doors opening into the 
living-rooms. A single loophole lit the chapel. 
Here the sixth child of Don Juan de Jaxu, 
councillor of the King, Lord of Xavier and 
Ydocin, and of Maria de Azpilcueta, his wife, 
was born on April 7, 1506, and named Francisco. 
The marriage had taken place between 1475 
and 1480; three daughters and then two sons 
had been born. The family fortunes steadily 
increased. Navarre was at peace with Castille, 
and Magdalena, the third daughter, became 
maid-of-honour to the Catholic Queen, Isa 
bella; while to the eldest boy, Miguel, was 
offered a post as page at the Court of Madrid. 
Juan and Maria had rebuilt the parish church 
of Xavier, and added an abbadia where a priest 
was to live in community with two or three 
other persons, and to recite the Daily Office. 
On Tuesday in Holy Week this recitation was 
to be peculiarly deliberate, they ruled, in 
honour of the Passion. During it Francis was 


born. This church haunted his boyish fancies. 
Over its font he could see hanging his baptismal 
robe. In it High Mass and solemn vespers 
were daily sung; the Salve Eegina sanctified 
each sunset. The abbadia was all but monastic 
in its rule of life, imposed by the Founder and 
Foundress, who, in their deed of gift, preached 
a regular sermon to all its future occupants. 
Cards and hunting were forbidden, but fishing 
and gardening allowed ; pious books were to be 
read at table; women under sixty were ex 
cluded. Minute regulations insure the decent 
saying of the Office. Austere piety was tradi 
tional in the fortress. St. Jerome, the fierce 
recluse; St. Michael, the soldier-angel, were its 
patrons. The Holy Trinity was a mysterious 
and unusual devotion in the family. Above all, 
a Crucifix, found long ago (in the thirteenth 
century, when the first Azuarez de Sada went 
to Xavier), hidden, from the Moors doubtless, 
in a secret hollow of the wall, daily drew the 
inhabitants to kneel before its terrible face of 
torment. In a crowd of relatives where voca 
tion to the priesthood or religious life were con 
stant, Francis was remarkable for nothing but 
his skill in all manner of athletics. 

When he was six, years old, disaster began to 
haunt his family. In 1512 war broke out be- 


tween Castille and Navarre. France and the 
Papacy entered the conflict, Ferdinand of 
Castille standing for Julius II., who had opened 
hostilities against Louis XII., and was answer 
ing a Gallican by an oecumenical council. Poor 
King John of Navarre, more French than 
Spanish, driven from his chosen neutrality to 
define his position, inclined to France, and was 
forthwith excommunicated by a Bull, probably 
forged, brought by the Duke of Alba. Many 
of the Jaxu family transferred their allegiance 
to Castille, while Don Juan tried to couple ab 
stinence with loyalty. He failed. In June, 
1515, Navarre was annexed, the lands of Xavier 
sold, and in October the poor man died of the 
shock. Next year the caste, so to say, was 
changed throughout. New Kings had every 
where succeeded to the throne; a revolution 
was attempted. Many of Francis s relations 
were involved. The fortress of Azpilcueta 
withstood the Spanish onslaught for a consider 
able time; Cardinal Ximenez, when it was 
taken, razed it to the ground. After Azpil 
cueta, the Jaxu castle fell. Then it was 
Xavier s turn: the outer wall and gate-house 
were demolished, the moat filled up, and three 
of its towers fell beneath the pick. A Castillian 
agent was installed : the lands of Xavier, Jaxu, 


and Ydocin were harried ; rents no longer came 
in; the family sank rapidly. 

One more effort. In 1 520 Navarre attempted 
a final revolt, much of the Castillian garrison 
having been drawn off. Thus, in Pamplona, only 
a handful of Castillians remained. A band of 
French hurled themselves upon the little town. 
A breach was made. Alone in the breach stood 
its Captain, Ignatius of Loyola, powder-black 
ened, but not to be sent running. Up the 
slope stormed the French and the Navarrese, 
among them Juan and Miguel Xavier. Francis, 
only eleven years old, had been left behind, 
like David; else his might have been the shot 
which brought Ignatius down. Pamplona was 
taken, and Ignatius with it. But the campaign 
went against Navarre, and, at the head of a 
long list of exceptions to the amnesty pro 
claimed on December, 1523, by Charles V., 
stood the names " Miguel de Xavier, Juan de 
Azpilcueta, brother of Miguel de Xavier," and, 
a little lower, " Valentin de Jaxu," all of them 
condemned to death. They escaped, however, 
and for two more years held out at Fontarabia, 
till in 1524, on the yielding of that garrison, 
their pardon was pronounced, and, crippled, 
but with unstained honour, they retired to 
their shattered properties. 


Such was the setting of the boyhood of St. 
Francis. An austere religion; a fortress-home, 
brown among burnt-out hills; a space of 
hunting and running and bathing in mountain 
torrents; the echo of battle ever in his ears; 
eviction, impoverishment, demolition of dear 
places; one long lesson of detachment from all 
save personal honour and loyalty to his King. 

But just as the personal pride of the Xaviers 
could not any more soften into mere compla 
cency or self-satisfaction in present opulence, 
so neither did it shrivel into a morose brooding 
over lost glories. The whole Xaverian history 
had been one of deliberate ambition. So was 
it now. In many a document we can watch 
them at work, rebuilding their fortunes with 
the tenacity of beavers restoring their broken 
dam. Francis, clear that war was a precarious 
business, decided to make a career for himself 
by letters; and since the Church promised 
higher emoluments and positions than the law, 
he will choose to take the tonsure. University 
life will also be a necessity, and nothing but 
Paris can do justice to his destiny. Antici 
pating, I will say that at Paris Francis was 
determined to abandon nothing suggested by 
the rank he claimed. He had no least intention 
of admitting that the Xaviers fell short of their 


associates. His elder brothers, with truer per 
spective, are by this time careful, saving, doing 
their subordinates work, enlarging them 
selves by a field s worth, an orchard s worth at 
a time. Francis is extravagant, and has to 
write home, and often, for moneys hard to be 
supplied. Dona Maria is anxious. Ought not 
Francis to be recalled ? But his sister Magda- 
lena, a Poor Clare now at Gandia, proves her 
self to be, in her cloister, a woman of wider 
view and imagination than the chatelaine of 
Xavier. At all costs Francis must finish his 
education at Paris: his extravagant life is but 
a phase ; he is bound, the nun insists, to make 
good. Cut down his expenses he did, and was, 
indeed, forced to do so; yet he left no stone 
unturned to obtain the full legal verification 
of his pedigree and its patents to nobility. His 
career in the Church, too, must be distin 
guished, and he begs his uncle, who belongs to 
the Cathedral Chapter of Pamplona, to obtain 
for him some benefice at that place. Not for 
some years not, in fact, till Francis s own 
views were changing did his brothers seriously 
attend to this. But in the September and 
October of 1535 the official recognition of the 
Xaviers rank was proclaimed, and on August 4, 
1536, the Corte-mayor of Pamplona declared, 


in the name of Charles V., that " Don Francisco 
de Jaxu y Xavier was hijodalgo of noble and 
gentle birth, according to the four stems of 
his paternal and maternal genealogy." 

It were a weakness to-day, at any rate to 
suppose that titles as such mean anything: it 
is affectation, and in fact downright unscien 
tific, to pretend that breeding counts for 
nothing. The supernatural may no doubt dis 
regard the natural substratum into which it 
comes, but mostly it does not. The Breviary 
itself constantly displays an almost nai ve in 
terest in the stock from which Saints spring. 
There is no doubt that " ancient wealth," re 
garded by ^Eschylus as the best patent of 
nobility, implies generation ; of freedom from 
sordid preoccupation, of practice in govern 
ment, of possible width of outlook and action 
on a large scale, and of taking one s self for 
granted. All this strongly moulds the soul. 
One thus intrinsically fashioned will probably 
feel ashamed of falling beneath his post ; more, 
by a certain security as to his essential value, 
he will be able freely to dispense with the 
trappings, the mise en scene, the eVro? xoptjyia, 
which are his due, yet must more eagerly be 
snatched at by those whose title to them is less 
recognized. Yet he will take, and take rather 


heedlessly, it may be, what he wants, because he 
feels he deserves it. This breeziness of method 
and the conquering disposition which this 
implies will carry such a man on far, and reveal 
themselves whatever be his line in life. So, too, 
in the case of Francis. The narrow, the cooped 
and cabined, were instinctively displeasing to 
him. He must travel, and have life at its 
largest. A Court, a cathedral, a Commander- 
ship-in-Chief, must be for him. In effect, far 
wider horizons shall be his. Spiritual viceroy 
of Kings and Popes, he will know himself, even 
so, Legate of a yet higher King. Whole con 
tinents shall be his allotted territory, but his 
undisputed empire is to be the hardest of all 
to gain and keep the rule, that is, over the 
innermost of men s consciences and souls. 




" For more is not reserved 
To man, with soul just nerved 

To act to-morrow what he learns to-day: 
Here, work enough to watch 
The Master work, and catch 

Hints of the proper craft, tricks of the tool s true play. 
Yea ! it was better youth 
Should strive, through acts uncouth, 

Toward making, than repose on aught found 
made. . . ." 


IN 1525, then, Francis left for Paris, being nine 
teen years old. He entered at the college of 
Ste. Barbe, where he paid, as cameriste, both 
board and lodging. His servant, Miguel, was 
a Navarrese of bad character, destined, in 
fact, to turn out something of a villain. A 
moneyed master, ready for vagabondage of 
manners or morals, would have found in him a 
skilled accomplice. Ste. Barbe stood in the 
southern part of the Latin Quarter, separated 


by narrow lanes from other colleges all about it. 
Into one of these, the veriest sewer, poured the 
drainage of the College of Montaigu, a reac 
tionary, semi-monastic backwater, in the 
opinion of go-ahead Ste. Barbe, and sharply 
ridiculed by Rabelais. Stringent regulations 
were laid down, intended to coerce into good 
behaviour the peccant and pugnacious under 
graduate ; useless were they, as even in our own 
time, when, though far more rarely, the youth 
of our Universities elects to raid the town. In 
Paris the most savage holdings-up, barrings- 
out, armed ambush and attack, were constant in 
these black lanes, with their jutting buttresses, 
yawning pitfalls, and overhanging windows. 
Terrors hurtled from above; terrors gaped 
below. Worse than this, a torrent of im 
morality poured its foetid flood into this cess 
pool of the town. 

Personal pride, especially when reinforced by 
poverty, is in such circumstances a strong 
succour. It was strong in Francis, and, though 
slow in being alchemized, provided him from 
the beginning with a fund of self-respect, 
and readiness for self-discipline and control, 
which in time would render the more spiritual 
virtues at once easier to believe in, to under 
stand, and to practise. Meanwhile it was not 


difficult for Francis to see that the indiscrim 
inate vice of his fellow-students was beneath 
him, a taint, a slur. He refused to condescend. 
But pride is insufficient. Clearly as a motive 
it is not the highest. Even on its own level it 
cannot be trusted. It instils a self-restraint 
which tends to hold a man aloof from all he 
deems contemptible. But not all things always 
will he so esteem. A " gentleman " has been 
defined as one who knows " when to draw the 
line." But to draw a line need not imply a 
wholesale taboo. There are, for instance, in 
trigues which arouse in a man the primitive 
lust of the chase; there are conquests which 
are flattering. There are, too, the devouring 
onslaughts of that white flame of passion which 
seems, to the sinner, to purify what else were 
doubtless sin. Lancelot was never " wander- 
ingly lewd," yet it was he, not least, and 
Guinevere, whose tragedy worked havoc in 
Arthur s Court and kingdom. Therefore, al 
though a man may proudly, even scornfully, 
sweep away from his life all that is sly, leering, 
coarse, or cynical, yet may he be carried 
violently away from his chosen pedestal by the 
torrent-force of passion, or even charmed there 
from by subtle self-deception and by intellectual 
chicanery, and even by a mistaken reading of the 


laws of chivalry. Beyond all this, there are 
moments when the very proudest, the surest 
of himself, feels the world crumbling beneath 
his feet. There are moods of loneliness, of 
disgust with life, of impish perversity, of sickly 
craving, nay, of downright rebellious animality, 
when all human resolution or trained instinct 
is swamped. Of all enemies, the tempera 
mental mood is the most dangerous by far. 
Unaccountable in its advent, bewildering in 
character, blind in its issues, it shatters its 
victim s plans. Whence does it rise ? Who 
knows ? Yet let us brutally defeat our rising 
vanities. Few men are " cases," or interest 
ingly dual personalities. Physical equilibrium 
even in the least degree disturbed will suffice 
to create " moods," a liver attack, a digestion 
interfered with. . . . Anyhow, at such mo 
ments it is Principle, and nothing else, which 
saves a man, Principle held to blindly, obsti 
nately, by a bulldog will; an ultimate aware 
ness that right is right, despite the endlessly 
sophisticated arguments that fill the brain; 
despite the sick and rainbow-radiant mists that 
set the imagination a-swirl; despite the impera 
tive command of the body. But so to hold is 
not in the power of any will save helped by 
grace from God. 


How serious, then, was the risk run by 
Francis is immediately obvious, though it has 
his own emphatic declaration. He asserted 
roundly that in his time the moral tone of the 
University was shocking, and that his chosen 
associates were in no way above its level. He 
used, he frankly owned, to accompany them on 
their nocturnal expeditions, the more readily 
since his own professor shared them. Nor can 
we in truthfulness omit what, from the point 
of view of Francis s development, is the most 
important point of all, that not supernatural 
convictions, nor even the human self-esteem 
we spoke of, kept him from sin, but good down 
right fear of the appalling maladies he saw 
rife around him.* When his professor died 
miserably thus, Francis received an important 
shock, and his self-control, which, after two 
years of precarious integrity, was running out, 
received a fresh support in the person of a new 
and clean-lived tutor. Persons always meant 
much to the vivid sympathies of Francis, and 
the reinforcement which this new influence 

* This is Francis s own view. I have no proof, 
but I surmise that in his, as in so many cases, there 
was a deep current of supernatural idea and resolve 
so far below the explicit consciousness that it was 
never even self-confessed. Many men are so much 
better than they imagine, or know, or say ! 


received by the apparition in his circle of 
Peter Favre, the young Swiss shepherd-genius, 
was all-important. Favre knew by experience 
the struggle Francis was ever more consciously 
enduring; and while on his side he was to 
thank God for having let him meet Xavier 
and share his room, Francis, even before 
Peter s death, would insert the name of that 
gentle, sincere, and lovable man in the litany 
of the Saints.* Almost light-heartedly, then, 

* Just before Francis started for Venice in 1534, 
to punish himself for what he considered undue pride 
of body and for the over keen delight he felt he had 
taken in athletic successes at Paris and when a boy 
at home, he bound his arms and legs tightly with 
knotted cords. One day the swollen flesh closed over 
the cords so completely that it was considered im 
possible to cut them, and the amputation of an arm 
was seriously spoken of. Xavier spent two days in 
great distress, when the swelling suddenly subsided, 
and the cords came off. Francis then was not un 
conscious of his personal assets. Moreover, his 
instincts were more violent than many a man s. 
Later, at Rome, Simon Rodriguez, who shared his 
room and could not sleep, saw Xavier struggle in his 
dreams, leap on the bed, strike the air, and so strain 
in the fight that the blood welled from his nostrils 
and throat. " What is it ? What is it !" cried 
Simon, panic - stricken. " Nothing," answered 
Francis curtly. " How nothing, " asked Rodri 
guez, " with your throat choked with blood f " 
Francis remained dumb. Simon decided the devil 
had been strangling him. . . . Long afterwards, in 


so far, had Xavier guarded a treasure he never 
lost. In the most impossible situations of his 
later life, amid unparalleled audacities of 
behaviour, he will walk scathless, untouched 
(save once, by a plot of proven calumny) by the 
slightest breath of scandal, and, since purity is 
creative, inspiring all around him the virtue he 


Hitherto the issue had been clear. I do not 
think Francis ever had any illusions as to the 
essential wrongness of yielding to the clamour of 
the animal within him. Doubtless in many a 
sophisticated student of that time the Renais 
sance had implanted perversities of imagina 
tion, pagan ideals, and unbelieved-in arguments 
for vice. Doubtless a halo had been cast, for 
some, around sin, such as for many a decadent 
of our own or the past generation has been lit 
up by a yet newer paganism and a Christless 
mysticism. In the sturdy Basque brain, how 
ever, these morbid germs had not been suffered, 

Portugal, Xavier told Simon of the manner of tempta 
tion which in his dreams had leapt upon him. Later, 
in India, having learnt by experience the trap which 
malice sets even for the most innocent, he will lay 
down clear rules for the safeguarding of the reputation 
of his priests. 


by wholesome heredity, environment, and 
training, to insert themselves; nor yet in the 
sicklier sentimentalism of our northern, half- 
educated youth could the Spanish realist have 
found congenial nutriment. To Francis Xavier 
the branching road was manifest; he could 
choose the path of sin should he will to run in 
it, or he could suffer himself to be cajoled, 
half drowsed, to stroll or saunter down it. 
Humanly speaking, this he almost did. But 
that it was the path of sin he would not have 
disguised from himself. 

Far subtler was the intellectual temptation 
which beset the brilliant undergraduate. 

He was only nineteen, after all, when he 
went up to Paris ! And Paris at that time 
was seething with excitement. The feverish 
winds of the Renaissance tore madly down 
those black and narrow lanes, setting the dust 
and straws a whirl and the crass pools rippling, 
carrying on their brilliant wings strange per 
fumes from Greece and even Syria to intoxicate 
young brains and make the fancy reel. Above 
the " Gothic silhouette " of old Paris glittered 
the gold and marble vision of Athene s city. 
Boys came away from their professors classes 
drunk with the new knowledge, and these 
professors of Ste. Barbe s were among the fore- 



most of their time Cordier, the grammarian; 
d Estrebay, the Latinist ; Buchanan, the Scotch 
poet; Fernel, mathematician, astronomer, phil 
osopher, and litterateur, and so packed were 
Fernel s classes that the professor s pulpit had 
to be dragged out into the open. Francis took 
to this new atmosphere like a duck to water. 
In 1526 his literary studies were over. In 1529 
he passed a second examination in philosophy 
and the "sciences," and as Bachelor could now 
teach beginners while still at his own more 
advanced studies. In 1530 the further exami 
nation for the Licentiate was passed. The 
extraordinary brilliance of his fellow-lodger, 
Favre, was a continual stimulus, though in 
truth he needed none. Besides his own un 
quenchable ambition, he was nervously eager 
to shine in his philosophy professorship, which 
he now accepted in the College of Dormans- 

But in the midst of this intellectual effer 
vescence one element was of supreme impor 
tance. As Bobadilla, one of Xavier s future 
friends and associates, pithily put it: Qui 
grcecizabant, Lutheranizibant (" Who loved 
Greek, loved Luther "). The College de France, 
on one side of Ste. Barbe, was full of innovators. 
In that of Fortet, Calvin, from 1531, worked 


quietly. Kop and Cordier were, or were to be, 
at Ste. Barbe itself. The King s sister, Margaret 
of Navarre, had grouped around herself a con 
stellation of the unorthodox. Later on Francis 
regarded with horror the spell these new ideas 
had begun to cast upon him. On March 2 5, 1 535, 
he was to write to his brother John a regular 
apologia of his orthodoxy. John had heard 
that Francis was flirting with heresy, and that 
Ignatius, with whom Francis then lived, was as 
bad or worse. If Francis really did play with 
fire, his fingers were scarcely burnt. He is 
furious with his calumniators, so much so that, 
forgetful that his conversion was yet young, 
his earlier editors have mutilated his letter. 
He is deeply incensed against these " few ill- 
natured and perverse men. I wish I knew who 
they were, that I might pay them back as they 
deserve. I can t do this, because they present 
themselves under the mask of being friends of 
mine. God knows the mortification I ex 
perience at being unable to recompense them 
according to their works. My one consolation 
is, Quod differtur non aufertur"* How strange 
seems the circle of events when we perceive 
that Francis entrusted this letter to Ignatius 
de Loyola, ill, and having to return for a while 
* Almost, Better late than never. 


to Spain. Thus to that very Juan de Azpilcueta, 
whom he had once encountered in the breach of 
Pamplona, Ignatius handed over this letter 
from his brother Francis ! In it Francis goes 
out of his way to prove that so far from Ignatius 
being guilty it was to him he, Francis, owed his 
severance from these ill influences. " In my 
inexperience," he wrote, " I did not perceive 
the real character of my bad companions. To 
day, the heretical opinions of these persons are 
a mystery to no one, and I would give anything 
in the world never to have associated with 

An absurd myth was floated in the sixties of 
the past century that Xavier became a Protes 
tant at heart, and to the end retained an un- 
Catholic width of view and flexibility of action. 
But for Ignatius, it was argued, France had 
found the brilliant, gay Reformer that she 
needed. No ; Francis could never have been a 
Reformer in the sense of Luther or of Calvin. 
His irrepressible sense of humour would suf 
ficiently have saved him from that. Un 
married, he might have made a less genial 
Thomas More. Taken up by Margaret of 
Navarre, he might have become a kindlier 
Erasmus. If so, I imagine he would in any 
case, like Erasmus, have come to look with 


horror at his coquetries with heresy, once she 
was unmasked, and that his keen annoyance 
with the shortcomings of contemporary con 
servatism would have been tempered by time. 
His brain was far too vigorous not to perceive, 
as is now so clear, that the Reformation was in 
reality removing the whole foundation of his 
torical Christianity. Through this mental 
crisis Xavier, then, undoubtedly did pass to 
emerge, hence too, victorious. 

Xavier therefore has revealed himself, surely, 
as altogether human, altogether intelligible, 
and near ourselves. His was no overwhelming 
nobility, as Borgia s was to be, or Aloysius 
Gonzaga s, or Kostka s; his was that excellent 
manner of breed which has given to our own 
country so many sound politicians, courageous 
and gallant officers, and equitable judges. 
England has been staffed throughout, one may 
say, by the sons of those large houses where 
neither enervating wealth nor crippling poverty 
have prevented education being generous, 
hardy, ambitious, yet not insolent. These 
men, like Xavier, go mostly in youth to Uni 
versity, Army, or Navy. He, like them, ex 
perienced all that is incidental to developing 
body and brain. Xavier, again and again, is 
a type we know and prize; his experiences and 


fights were those of the utterly ordinary man. 
His very victories, when in an enormously 
important part of conduct he determined to 
control himself, were carried off with no mystic 
or sublime weapons, but from prudential con 
siderations, and because he was modest and 
friendly enough to allow himself to be in 
fluenced by good men. Even so does a high 
percentage of our contemporaries, despite the 
customary lie which asserts the opposite, keep 
itself wholly free, or mostly free, from graver 
moral lapse. Alien, by his sound instinct, to 
the genuinely corrupt and lewd, Xavier gives 
the lie, too, to the false oracles that to live 
pure is to lack experience, not to have seen life, 
to be but half a man; or that equilibrium is to 
be maintained only by regulated indulgence. 
In him, whatever of Sainthood he was to 
acquire, was to be prefaced by an ordinary 
human life, lived well; an ordinary human 
instinct made the best of. 

Just, then, as we neither flatter Francis for 
any mysterious exemption from trials incident 
to all normal adolescence, so neither shall we 
scold him nor others if for a brief space their 
new-hatched notions create a hubbub and make 
them fractious, unruly, and impatient of 
authority. Most men at adolescence, or soon 


after, go through a certain intellectual up 
heaval. To those whose brain is even toler 
ably active it may be a period of very con 
siderable excitement. To those exceptionally 
gifted it may be perfectly volcanic. In these, 
ideas seem to run rapidly up into their aware 
ness, following some fine and fiery, quickly 
evanescent, train of thought, and then to 
explode with all the starry brilliance of a 
rocket. Consequences, analogies, values, flare 
into parti-coloured splendour all about them; 
the very stars, fixed hitherto in the solid firma 
ment, principles firmly riveted as sun and moon 
for the ruling of day and of night, seem to spring 
from their sockets, so to say, and to reel in a 
wild geometry of interweaving flame. Life is 
reborn day by day; the world is incessantly 
recreated; to yield unalterable assent to any 
dogma, or rigid obedience to any law, seems like 
suicide, a deadly blow dealt to the emancipated, 
probing, soaring, exploring spirit of man. 
Youth rediscovers for itself the truth of plati 
tudes once felt as stale and flat ; or it improves 
upon them, corrects them, interconnects them, 
and transcends while it retains them. It feels 
itself linked with all the past, and yet to be not 
stationary. It speeds through all the possi 
bilities of the present, and feels itself to be 


preparing the future. Above all, it is aware 
that all this is happening for the first time in 
history; that nothing has ever been quite like 
itself ; that at last and undoubtedly the Prophet 
has come into the world; that in this little 
unknown room at Oxford or Innsbruck or 
Harvard, or in this garret of some London 
back-street, is living at last the one who, 
through no merit of his own, yet none the less 
infallibly, shall heal the universe. 

Yes ! for all this may go with a most sweet 
innocence. The youth s whole being, when 
you meet him, may be an incarnate Non 
Nobis. The frank expression of a bubbling 
egotism may be, as someone said, the truest 
modesty. At least it is not that sickly inner 
life which shrinks from external intercourse 
lest it provoke the comparison which subcon 
sciously it fears. It is no philosopher- 
Narcissus, on his knees before his own intel 
lectual perfections till he finds he has let life 
go by, and dies in isolation. And even if 
along with the blossoming of thought comes 
a good deal of simple vanity well, vanity is 
not pride. There is an added legitimate 
delight in a good thing just because it is your 
property. And what if you deem it to be 
your discovery ? There is a boyish " swollen 


head," as grey growlers call it, which isn t a 
bad thing. A man is being born, and is learn 
ing to walk on a new-discovered earth. He 
will never do anything unless he thinks he can 
do more than he can. The boy feels a delight 
in putting forth his strength. Perhaps he does 
so too often, too noisily, perhaps at other 
folk s expense. Well, let him ! The delight 
is delightful, and may never come again. Oh, 
the churlish curmudgeon who would snub it 
into the commonplace ! The " large draughts 
of intellectual day " go to the head, I know : 
the tiniest sips, to some heads. Yet the light, 
as God very well saw, was good, and didn t 
stint it; and wine is good, albeit Noah was 
unlucky. But even he learnt wisdom by 
experiment, and wouldn t have wished the 
world to take to total abstinence. Total 
abstinence in thought is indeed not edifying. 
It is doubtless true that a certain number of 
young men, and even women, are so taken 
up with athletics and falling in love that they 
have no time for anything else; yet a little 
thought, and much emotion, is liberated by 
even these. Far worse, there is an apparently 
increasing quantity of people who, critics of 
games rather than performers, and flaneurs in 
erotics, never read anything whatsoever, or 


at best the story-magazines or the papers; 
and of these, parts only; and that, cursorily 
and without appeal to reflection or even 
memory, so that the stage itself ceases to appeal 
to them ; they cannot " follow " a play, they hie 
them to hurricane-paced cinemas or nightmare 
revues. In these, of course, thought has not 
even a chance of germing, or perishes forthwith 
for lack of sustenance, or in the chilling air. 
Hence allusion means nothing to them; com 
parison is impossible; they cannot supply a 
fact, and are helpless to cope with any notion, 
and their neighbours are too shy to say any 
thing in such company which might savour of 
showing off. Hence the petrifying dulness of 
so many dinner- tables. Hence the modern 
reluctance even to " take a walk." Yet, even 
in these, even in these, there is at adolescence 
a certain commotion in the mind, a certain 
simmering, very likely to be drugged or choked 
by life, yet full of possibilities while it lasts, 
if dealt with wisely. At this point then, too, 
Xavier s development coincides with that of 
all living men, and observe his miraculous 
good fortune that, at the right moment, he met 
the right Man. 

It is our singular custom to continue the educa 
tion of both sexes beyond the closing gates of boy 


and girlhood in any chosen direction other than 
that of religious thought. A volume might be 
written on this subject. It remains, there is 
no after-school education of the religious mind. 
Doubtless retreats are doing something, when 
they take this fact into consideration. Study. 
clubs are doing something, too, in regard to 
the contact between the Catholic life and the 
social and political life of a man. Yet, on the 
whole, Catholics provide and God knows with 
what difficulty good schools for our leading 
classes, anyhow, up to adolescence. We turn 
our boys and girls out into Universities or other 
training-plots, and there, while guiding their 
steps in the preliminaries to whatever career 
they choose, or in liberal education generally, 
we leave them, religiously speaking, uncatered 
for at the very moment when the alert intellect 
is dealing eagerly with whatever comes its 
way, unhelped, unpiloted. Idle to say they 
know their Catechism, they " learnt their 
religion " at school. But their mind has 
changed: every fact is newly envisaged, newly 
dealt with; the whole reaction is new, the 
products are other. Even when not ill- 
interested in their beliefs, they risk being just 
^interested. They may not go away, but 
they just don t go at all. But, in any form 


of life, not to go is to grow atrophied and 
paralyzed. The spiritual life just dies. Doubt 
less mere head-interest is not enough. To be 
" interested " in religion, but unspiritually, is 
to reduce one s faith to the level of one s own 
intellect: to treat it as a subject one s brain 
can adequately deal with, thereby insuring its 
mishandling by the erratic, half -fledged wits, 
its crippling, and perhaps thus, too, its death 
But, on the whole, what is needed by our 
generation, and by any generation, at its adoles 
cence, is not suppression, not snubs, not ridi 
cule, not sheer disregarding, but an endlessly 
patient and tactful guidance, at once imagina 
tively sympathetic, intellectually capable, and 
spiritual. Francis Xavier found such a guide 
in Ignatius Loyola. May he make it his 
business, in gratitude, to pray that many such 
another be given to our very unshepherded 
young flocks to-day ! 




" Therefore I summon age 

To grant youth s heritage, 
Life s struggle having so far reached its term: 

Thence shall I pass, approved 

A man, for aye removed 
From the developed brute; a god though in the germ. 

" And I shall thereupon 

Take rest, e er I be gone 
Once more on my adventure brave and new: 

Fearless and unperplexed, 

When I wage battle next, 
What v/eapons to select, what armour to endue." 

MEN are, after all, the most important force 
in life, not arguments; magnetism, not co 
ercion. Sword and syllogism alike go down 
before soul -contact. That is perhaps why 
Christianity is not in chief a philosophy nor a 
rule-book, but is Christ. Certainly, with the 
entry of Ignatius of Loyola into Xavier s life 
the great change came. 




In 1528 Ignatius had come to Paris, and was 
an extern scholar at the very respectable 
College of Montaigu. He was not particularly 
popular, even among his compatriots. Middle- 
aged, shabby, unkempt, limping, he frankly 
begged his keep, and swept out corridors for a 
pittance. Too reserved for the vulgar, delib 
erately declasse in the eyes of gentlemen, even 
when, like Francis, they were poor enough 
to all he seemed perverse and unintelligible. 
His person was roughly handled, his room was 
"ragged." In 1529 he transferred himself to 
Ste. Barbe, and, by strange chance, was made 
to share the room already occupied by Xavier 
and Favre. Apparently Xavier was asked to 
help his very backward fellow-countryman in 
his studies. He objected strongly, and shuffled 
the dull job on to the gentler Favre. He must 
have been present when Ignatius was on the 
verge of a public flogging ; the acquittal seemed 
to make the business no less discreditable. In 
short, Xavier frankly disliked Ignatius. He 
laughed at his way of life. He answered so 
flippantly when Ignatius broke in upon Fran 
cis s flamboyant development of his own 
ambitions with the words, " What shall it 


profit a man if he gain the whole world and 
lose his soul," that one less unselfishly sensitive 
would have found his affection frozen and his 
lips for ever sealed. Francis jeered at Ignatius 
when he passed him in the streets, and jeered, 
too, at the younger students from Alcala, 
Laynez and Salmeron, whom the report of 
Loyola s virtues had drawn to Paris. But 
Ignatius laid resolute siege to Francis, and 
what Ignatius meant to do he always did. 
" I have heard our great moulder of men, 
Ignatius, declare," Polanco was to write, 
" that the stiff est clay he ever had to handle 
was, at the outset, Francis Xavier." Yet he 
conquered. He definitely admitted Xavier to his 
"Company" before either Salmeron or Laynez. 

I expect the Rubicon was crossed when 
Xavier, reduced one day to downright penni- 
lessness, due apparently not least to the expen 
sive verification of his patents of nobility, was 
forced to accept the loan of some coins Ignatius 
had begged. That was an obligation which 
must generate definitely either hate or homage. 
After this, Ignatius began to collect pupils 
whose fees should fill Xavier s pockets, and in 
return Xavier ceased to haunt the heterodox. 

In 1533 Favre went back to Switzerland, and 
for seven months Ignatius was left alone with 


Francis. During those months the miracle 
was worked, none knows how.* When Favre 
returned, early in 1534, he found Francis an 
altered man. He had abandoned his dreams 
of ecclesiastical and even of scholastic emin 
ence; he had forcibly to be kept to the pro 
fessorial post where his success was ruffling 
his new-born humility. He prayed; he loved 
his poverty; he did penance. With Favre, 
ordained priest that year, Bobadilla, Rodriguez, 
Laynez, and Salmeron, he offered himself to 
follow Christ, with Ignatius for guide. 

Noble dreams beset these men. They al 
lowed themselves three more years of Paris 
life to complete their theological studies, but 
of a Paris life spent in chastity and poverty. 
Afterwards, in 1537, they would meet in 
Venice; from Venice they vowed to journey to 
Jerusalem; there they would live and evan 
gelize the Gentiles, or, returning, would fling 
themselves at the feet of Christ s Vicar, and 
beg to be sent by him to carry Christ s name 

* During them, too, Xavier s sister, the Abbess 
Magdalena, had died. Her life had been offered for 
her brother s salvation, and she had done her work. 
Her appalling death-agony was voluntarily accepted 
for the sake of a sister, and it was noticed that during 
it her serenity of visage never changed, though, in 
her paroxysms of pain and resolve not to scream, she 
had bitten her tongue in several places right through. 


among Turks and infidels and to the ends of 
the earth. On the Feast of the Assumption, 
1534, the triple vow was sealed at the altar of 
the ancient Montmartre crypt where Favre 
had offered Mass. Imagine what passion of 
prayer, resolve, and renunciation poured up that 
summer morning from the historied hill where 
Ignatius and his six Companions had made 
Communion ! Yet of that early dream Xavier 
alone would realize the outline.* From the 
Exercises which followed Xavier emerged a hero. 
The months ran by; the Companions were 
now nine; the autumn of 1536 arrived. To 
reach Venice at the appointed hour, the final 
examination, with its consequent title of doctor 
in theology, would be sacrificed. Other sacri 
fices Xavier had already made. His titles of 
nobility were complete; he relinquished them. 
The Canons of Nostra Sefiora del Sagrario 
had unanimously elected him to an empty 
stall. Wealth and career were doubly open 
to him. He renounced them, abandoned 
Paris, and began the journey which was to 
end with his life. He left his University; but 

* At this time Ignatius was forty-three; Favre and 
Xavier, twenty-eight; Bobadilla and Rodriguez, about 
twenty-seven and twenty-six; Laynez* twenty- two; 
Salmeron, barely eighteen. 



its memory will haunt him to the end. Twelve 
years he had lived in it, and he was only thirty. 
All that happens to a man between boyhood 
and maturity had happened to him there. 
All the crises of body and brain and spirit, of 
temptation, of grace, and of conversion, he 
had there passed through. Many who had not 
suspected themselves of sentiment marvel to 
discover that one stone of Oxford has come 
to mean more to them than all the capitals of 
Europe. Memories, emotions, hopes, cling for 
them around the grey spires and the willow- 
trees, not to be disentangled. All was new 
then; everything was beginning; friendships 
were different ; work and play were meaningful ; 
all the future was one great promise. " Of the 
infinite dream little enough remains." For 
Francis, the future was utterly other than 
what Paris foresaw ; but he never forgot, never 
regretted, and never thought trivially of Paris. 
On January 8, 1537, the nine reached Venice, 
and found Ignatius awaiting them. 

For the next three years Francis entered on 
a curious interspace in life, during which his 
existence seems depersonalized, and his whole 
story typical rather than individual. He 
assimilates himself to his companions, and they, 
to all religious enthusiasts of their time, even 


as these, copying, in the flush of their conver 
sion, the types best known to them, revert for 
a while to the Middle Ages. As certain novices 
appear to lose, for a space, all personal charac 
teristics, all sense of age, preference, period, 
sex, all background, even all objective save the 
moment s work, so absorbed are they in one or 
two tremendous notions, or, it may be, in the 
sense of one supersufficient Comradeship, so 
these Jesuits-to-be fuse, as it were, for the time, 
with those who then were setting the standard 
and tone of Christian enthusiasm. St. Gaetano 
had recently founded the Incurables Hospital 
at Venice; St. Geronimo degli Emiliani had 
worked there since; thither Francis went, 
speaking his bad Italian, trading on no quality 
or degree, making beds, bandaging sores and 
wounds, digging graves and burying the dead, 
washing beggars rags, and living on alms.* 

* He accomplished the terrific act of physical self- 
conquest proper to this chapter of sanctification. 
Ashamed to sicken at the sight of a purulent skin 
illness, he placed to his lips his filthied fingers. A 
personal trait redeems the tale. As a man who has 
overwalked himself dreams all night of walking, so 
the fastidious Francis, nervously overtaxed, could 
not forget his deed. All night he tossed and choked 
and struggled. He felt that the leprosy had settled 
on his lips, in his throat. He awoke, exhausted, but 
victorious, and made a joke of it. 


In torrential rain, fasting (for it was Lent, and 
from sheer necessity) ; tramping eighteeen miles 
one Sunday through floods at times breast- 
high, on a crust of bread in the morning and a 
few pine-cones gathered and chewed at night; 
sleeping where best they could, yet losing that 
very sleep for joyousness, singing Psalms and 
exulting in God, they tramped down Italy 
and reached Rome; and after a space (for the 
war, soon to break out between Venice and the 
Turk, made Jerusalem impossible) they re 
turned to the north. On June 24, 1537, Francis 
was ordained priest, and said his first Mass at 
Vicenza in the late autumn. At Bologna he 
awaited directions from Ignatius, who was 
back at Rome, and, says Domenech, at this time 
his whole conversation was about the Indies 
and of preaching there. Earlier, a nightmare 
had haunted him. He would appear broken 
beneath the weight of an Indian, and would 
arouse his companion by his cries. God, he 
felt, too, was asking perilous labour of him, 
and in his enthusiastic acceptance he would 
awaken the scared Rodriguez by his cries of 
" More ! yet more !" But when Ignatius called 
him to Rome two illnesses had made him un 
recognizable. It was clear he would work no 
more. He was given two months of life. He 


remained quiet, happily for him. Ignatius is 
accused of heresy, in part by the villain of the 
piece, Miguel the Navarrese, who already in 
Paris had climbed Ignatius s window at mid 
night, bent upon murdering the man who had 
ridded Francis of him. This tale, though, has 
been told. But neither was Francis to be left in 
peace. He had heard confessions; he directed 
souls. A wretched woman, his penitent, lived 
on in sin and was detected. She denounced 
Xavier as her accomplice. Here, as in Loyola s 
case, a Providential chance revealed the guilty, 
and Francis was acquitted. This horrible ex 
perience put him on his mettle. He reappeared, 
visited hospitals and prisons, and preached at 
San Luigi dei Francesi. He discussed with 
Ignatius the Rule of the future Institute, and 
when the rest of the Fathers went abroad on 
missions, ill-lettered Ignatius kept him behind 
as secretary.* Francis as yet lacked supple 
ness of action. He drove his principles to 

* Secretary ! How that word reveals that the old 
nomad days are over ! We are now full in the period 
of fixed abode, of epistolary ties, of business, pro 
gramme, organization. Travel each as they will, the 
Jesuits are bound now to a centre, to Ignatius at 
Rome. Their religious Wanderjahr, their sanctified 
grand tour, is over. The " beloved vagabonds " of 
Christ must settle down. Only, for the stay-at- 
home secretary, the romance is still but beginning. 


death. Poor Father Estrada complained bit 
terly; he was always writing to Rome and 
getting no reply. " Whose fault is that ?" 
answered Ignatius. " Why, Signor Master 
Francis s. His fingers are numb with the cold, 
and it never seems to occur to him that fire 
was made to warm one s hands at." 

Thus, amid quiet duties and sober ascetic 
industries, in an almost conventual air of 
demure pleasantries, the first chapter closes. 


Quietly the first chapter closed, and quietly 
the second began, and then quiet was, for 
Francis, for ever finished. 

In 1539 John III. of Portugal ordered his 
ambassador at Rome, Don Pedro Mascarenhas, 
to examine whether the " Companions " would 
be fit folk to evangelize his dominion of the 
Indies. Mascarenhas interviewed Ignatius, 
who was ready if the Pope approved, which he 
did. Whom should Ignatius send ? Two at 
most could go. Rodriguez, ex-scholar of the 
King of Portugal at Ste. Barbe s, was an obvious 
choice. He set off for Lisbon on March 5, 
from Civita Vecchia, with most of Don Pedro s 
staff. Bobadilla, intrepid, reckless, rather 


violent for home missions, was sent for from 
Naples. He arrived, half paralyzed by sciatica, 
and forthwith relapsed. But the eve of the 
ambassador s departure had arrived. He 
could not wait, but was determined to have his 
second man. Of the first Companions only 
Salmeron and Xavier were at Rome. Sal- 
meron was due for Ireland. Ignatius, ill in 
bed, sent for his secretary. Ribadeneira, 
a successor in that post, relates what passed. 

"Xavier," said Ignatius, "you know that 
by order of His Holiness two of Ours have to 
start for India. We had chosen Bobadilla, 
but he is too ill to go, and the ambassador can t 
wait. You must go." 

" Certainly," said Xavier. " At once. 
Here I am. Pues, sus ! heme aqui /" 

He had less than a day for his arrange 
ments. He mended a cassock and some 
underlinen, packed them into a bundle with 
his breviary and presumably visited the Pope. 
He then wrote out three documents, containing, 
first, the approbation of whatever the Constitu 
tions, yet unwritten, should contain ; second, his 
own vows as a Companion; third, his vote for 
Ignatius as Superior.* He then received direc- 

* He gave a second vote for Favre; and Favre, 
voting first for Ignatius, put Xavier as second. 


tions from Ignatius concerning correspondence, 
and next day, March 16, 1540, left for Lisbon. 

Thus, with no fanfaronade of farewell, no 
noise or lamentation, Ignatius cut off from 
himself, for ever, as he quite well knew, his 
dearest and nearest friend; and Francis, for 
the sake of Christ, left behind him all country 
and people, friends and enterprises, and the 
man who had called him to God s service. 
Ignatius and Francis each loved the other 
better than all the world. Each gave the other 
up, the moment God spoke. Here, then, is the 
high deed of very gallant gentlemen, done as it 
should be done. 

Wherever, as at Bologna, the memory of 
Xavier s visit two years previously was fresh, his 
advent was announced. Crowds poured out to 
meet him, besieged his confessional, tearfully 
escorted him forth, like St. Paul, upon his way. 
Deep disappointment awaited him at Parma. 
Favre had that very day left it for Brescia, to 
return in a fortnight only. Mascarenhas could 
not wait; the friends never met again. Acci 
dents, not unusual for that period, diversified 
the route. A groom got carried away by a 
river in flood. He was saved, the ambassador 
said, by Xavier s prayers. Xavier said, by 
the ambassador s. Other incidents left less 


room for these reciprocal courtesies. Don 
Pedro s aide- de camp, who had quarrelled 
violently with his master, went ahead to pre 
pare the night s lodging. Xavier, anxious for 
peace, galloped after him ; luckily, it turned out, 
for the man s horse had bolted, had pitched 
his rider over a declivity, and, falling after 
him, had broken his own neck and pinned the 
unlucky man beneath him. Francis freed him, 
and got his way. . . . Again, snowdrifts rendered 
the Alps all but impassable. The ambassador s 
secretary, treading where all seemed solid, 
sank, and disappeared over the edge of a 
ravine. Deep down, a torrent roared. Horror- 
struck and helpless, the men gazed at one 
another, peered into the blackness, and aban 
doned hope. Meanwhile Xavier, who, despite 
his illnesses, could still trust muscles and head, 
had scrambled down the precipice, found the 
wretched secretary hooked by his clothes to a 
rock, and hauled him up again. But not 
chiefly by these sensational performances did 
he win the hearts of the caravan. His thought- 
fulness and kindliness, his ubiquitous good 
offices, above all, his untiring cheerfulness, made 
it a pleasure, they said, to have him with them. 
He liked seeing to the horses, and was as genial 
with the grooms as he was at ease and un- 


affected with Mascarenhas. One of his 
younger companions frankly declared, later, 
how young, wealthy, free from supervision, 
he had been enjoying life considerably too well 
in half a dozen countries. He had racketed 
across half Europe, and needed and feared 
confession more than anything in the world. 
Francis Xavier, enormously interested in all he 
had to tell of, listened to his harangues by the 
hour. Imperceptibly, the boy found his point 
of view was changing. Fascinated by Francis, 
he reconstrued life. Long before Lisbon was 
reached, he had made his general confession, 
and, said he, " for the first time in my life I 
understood what it is to be a Christian." 
Foreshadowed here are all the special char 
acteristics of Xavier s developed sanctity. 
In Lisbon they arrived in June, 1540.* 
Rodriguez, there since April, was expecting 
an attack of quartan ague. In his joy to see 
Xavier he decided not to have it, and they 
worked together during the eight months 
before the fleet could sail, effecting a not quite 

* It used to be said that Francis, out of self- 
conquest, refrained from visiting Xavier, under whose 
walls he passed, and his mother. But Mascarenhas, 
to whom Ignatius had entrusted a letter for his 
brother at Loyola, would not have passed near 
Xavier. As for Dona Maria, she had died long since. 


transitory reformation in the court. To the 
delighted John III. the Jesuits owed their 
first establishments, not alone in Portugal, but 
in Brazil, Ethiopia, the Congo, and India, 
though at first he wished to keep both priests 
in Portugal, so popular and effective were 
they. Paul III. and Ignatius left the decision 
in John s hands, Ignatius hinting at a division 
of forces. Why not keep Rodriguez ? Thus 
it was settled. Nor could Xavier have been 
happy at Lisbon, packed as it was with the 
strangest visitors ambassadors from Ceylon, 
from India, from the Congo ; with negro priests 
and a black Bishop ; with princes from Malabar 
and Cape Comorin. A certain Cingalese 
kinglet, wishing to insure the inheritance to 
his grandson, sent a gold statue of the boy to 
John, and in Lisbon its coronation was by him 
pompously performed. Moreover, the Pope s 
briefs conferring full powers and a papal 
nunciature upon Francis had arrived, recom 
mending the missionaries to the good-will of 
the kings and lords of the isles of the Red, the 
Persian, and the Oceanic seas, and especially 
to David, King of Ethiopia. 

March, the month of sailing, came. Francis 
said his last farewells. " May we meet again 
in the next life," he wrote to Rome. " As for 


this one, who knows ? Rome and India are 
wide apart; the harvest is great. Each will 
have work enough where he is. But, whoever 
of us shall first enter into the other life, and 
there finds not the brother whom in the Lord he 
loves, let him pray Christ our Lord to give us 
all the grace to meet again in glory." 

The solemn moment came. All Lisbon used 
to watch the yearly departure. Convents used 
to escort the distant fleet with a " month s 
mind," the Mass of the Angels, said pro navi- 
gantibus. Yearly, too, since Vasco de Gama s 
example, travellers would meet in the chapel 
of Our Lady of Nazareth, in Belen, a suburb of 
Lisbon. This year Paul III. had attached 
indulgences to a visit there, for the garri 
sons due for India, and the faithful who should 
pray for them. Last confessions were made; 
wills were drawn up. A Belen convent carried 
down a pulpit to the shore, and for the last 
time Xavier s voice was heard in Europe. On 
April 7, 1 541 (for winds had kept the fleet locked 
there within the Tagus) he embarked. It was his 
birthday, and he was thirty-five. To the blare 
of trumpets and chant of hymns, the thirty- 
five lumbering, blunt-nosed, transport vessels* 
heaved out to sea. Europe faded in the blue. 

* One out of every ten of this type used to founder. 


" Come, my friends, 

Tis not too late to seek a newer world, 
Push off, and sitting well in order smite 
The sounding furrows: . . . 

That which we are, we are ; 
One equal temper of heroic hearts, 
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will 
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." 


THE journey was appalling.* For two months 
Francis was incessantly sea-sick. The fan 
tastic vision of the East had filled the ships 
with a heterogeneous mob of emigrants, among 
whom were hundreds of that scum of which 
Portugal was only too glad to be rid. These 
lived in a foul and murderous promiscuity. 
The steerage reeked, physically and morally. 
After Sierra Leone, the fleet fell into the 
" calms," and lay in sweltering heat for forty 

* It lasted over a year, April 7, 1541 to May 6, 
1542, instead of the usual six months. 


days. Sudden gusts set it tossing, but not 
progressing; to the return of nausea a hideous 
epidemic was added. No sanitary appliances 
of any sort were obtainable. The food putre 
fied, the doled-out water was warm and crawled 
with life; the ships were an inferno. Xavier, 
himself staggering with weakness, was all in 
all to the panic-stricken cursing crews. His 
food, his clothes, his very cabin, he sacrificed. 
At Mozambique, " the graveyard of Portugal," 
they were forced to winter. No Port Said of 
our day equals its moral turpitude. Here, too, 
Xavier gathered around himself a motley 
and adoring troop soldiers, slaves, sailors, 
and natives. He fell sick, and, bled to utter 
exhaustion, recovered from a delirium in which 
his whole talk had been of the beloved children 
he was serving. It were idle to detail what 
was the most horrible year of his life. On 
May 6, in the evening, the coast of India was 
sighted, and, with their background of the 
Ghats, the palms of Goa waved green. 

As utterly impossible were it adequately 
to outline even Xavier s missionary life. The 
mere list of places that he visited and tribes 
to whom he preached would wearisomely over 
flow our limits and bewilder the brain. Yet in 
some way an idea of what he did should reach 


us, else the heroicity of his labour fails to touch 
our imagination. I will at least indicate in 
its four main divisions the history of those 
ten years of work. 

His headquarters were naturally Goa, and 
there he remained from May to the end of 
September, returning thither at intervals. 
With the exception of its Franciscan Bishop 
and his devoted friends, nearly everything was 
against him. Even they had nearly despaired. 
The Christianity of the colony was all but a 
mere farce. In the background a sensual and 
bloodthirsty idolatry still lurked. Natives were 
sold into a ferocious and degrading slavery, for 
trifling sums, on the very steps of Cathedral and 
Government House. The meanest Portuguese 
scullion regarded himself as their natural 
lord. Private houses became mere brothels, 
the churches mere bazaars. In all India, 
scarce two or three priests preached; save in 
the capital, the huge diocese went almost with 
out Mass. No law of marriage or of business 
contract survived. Officials either were the 
worst transgressors, or wrote frantic letters 
home, which still survive, denouncing the 
prevalent corruption, for which they were 
speedily murdered if their appeal became 
known, or recalled if it did not. Bankrupt 


in money and morals, despite a certain simmer 
ing upkeep of the gayer functions of religion, 
the colony was in so shocking a condition that 
again and again Francis cries in agony that 
the Europeans are the worst enemies of them 
selves, of the natives, and of their faith. 

From September, 1542, to December, 1544, 
lasted the mission of Cape Comorin. Thirteen 
times altogether will Xavier, the worst of sailors, 
make this pirate - harassed journey of six 
hundred miles and more. Here he devotes 
himself to the pearl-fisheries with their Chris 
tian Paravar population, lost in a jungle of the 
worst forms of Hindu superstition, knowing 
nothing of Christianity save some prayers. 
Tutikorin was his headquarters; here he began 
to form his catechetical method, and create the 
very language in which to convey to his 
neophytes the new truths. Here, too, he 
first encountered Brahmins, the problem of 
caste, the necessity of philosophical alertness 
in one who would convert these dreamers, and 
of asceticism in one who would face these seem 
ing saints. One Brahmin only he converted; 
though as to the commoner folk, his arm fell 
weary with baptizing them. In his hut of 
planks and palm-leaves he makes but a brief 
stay. No village of that wide district but he 


visits and revisits, establishing catechumenates. 
He organizes a whole police, a whole code; he 
all but suppresses the arack-s willing which rots 
these poor folks nerves. He treats in person 
with, and turns back, the marauding Badagas; 
is sent for by the Rajah of Travancore, and, 
in a month s stay among his piratical subjects, 
in that pestilent region of dysentery, malaria, 
and elephantiasis, he makes and arranges for 
an immense number of converts. In 1545 the 
mission contained probably some 30,000 faith 
ful. He returned via Cochin to Goa.* 

* I wish once and for all to emphasize that I do 
not discuss the value and durability of these con 
versions. I would, however, recall a few guiding 
notions or facts. First, Francis and his fellow- 
missioners were quite well aware of the fleeting 
character of certain sorts of " conversion." They 
had nothing to learn herein from the acutest modern 
critic. There was no naive optimism of that sort 
about them. Further, their methods of conversion 
differed totally from those which result in " curry 
converts." Again, their catechetical instruction was 
accurate and long-continued, and always being im 
proved. Again, their treatment of the made convert 
was drastic (when necessary) to an astonishing 
degree. At the same time they presented a spectacle 
of self-sacrifice probably in no sort of way approached 
before or since. Again, Francis worked miracles 
(cf. infra, p. 167). It became a standing argument 
with the natives, when Dutch and other Protestants 
invited them to change their faith: " Work miracles 



December, 1544, to September, 1545, with 
a brief stay at Goa, was given to the mission 
of Ceylon. The Cingalese pearl-fishers wished 
to follow the example of their Paravar com 
rades. The " massacre of Manar " annihilated 
this infant Church. " Ah, Ceylon, Ceylon !" 
he was once heard to cry. " How much 
Christian blood thou shalt cost!" During 
this episode Francis created a problem for 
his biographers. He appealed frankly to the 
support of the Portuguese fleet for the capture 
of the persecuting centre, Jaffnapatam, and 
the forcible enthronement of a Christian Rajah. 
Similarly on the mainland he thoroughly 

such as Father Francis worked, then we may listen." 
The challenge, naturally, was never taken up. And, 
finally, his converts did persevere. Sometimes they 
dwindled in numbers and hold on faith, owing to 
lack of priests : Francis was badly backed. Con 
stantly they were simply wiped out in thousands by 
persecution. This is especially true for Japan. 
Often they have survived, and to our own day have 
held firm, even priestless, to the outline of their faith. 
His action, too, presupposes the essential value of 
baptism, and the eternal and supernatural conse 
quences of conversion to the individual soul. To 
Christianize was not, for him, merely to civilize. 
One law let us lay down: Francis s work must be 
appreciated on its own evidence, and not from what 
experience of modern foreign missions supplies. 


approved of the introduction of the Inquisition. 
We may briefly observe that when we rebuke 
these and the like events, partly we are asking 
Francis to think 300 years ahead of his time; 
even more, we are probably misconstruing 
the data, especially as regards the Inquisition. 
Everybody approved of it in theory. Its 
personal and individual procedure was what 
in certain definite localities was unpopular. 
As to the admission of force, undoubtedly 
Portugal considered itself, and was considered 
by Xavier, the predestined conqueror of the 
East. Undoubtedly the King and even his 
people felt they had the duty of introducing 
Christianity together with their armies. 
Modern neutrality (which really is due less to 
respect for liberty of conscience abroad than to 
indifferentism at home) would have been quite 
simply unthinkable to them. They believed 
that to " compel them to come in " was 
feasible, and if feasible, obligatory. That the 
subordinate officials, out merely to make 
money, behaved shockingly by the natives, 
Francis was the first to cry aloud, and the 
King, to whom he cried it, the first to hope to 
rectify. Moreover, Francis was right in asking 
protection, even armed, for his neophytes. 
To give up making Christians, or to support 


them when made, or to establish a Christian 
King, were the only alternatives to persecution. 
Francis could be energetic and even stern; but 
of his personal sweetness and endless self- 
sacrifice no one doubted. Frankly, for the 
time little could be done in the island. From 
his missions in Cochin, Negapatam, and San 
Thome, he already heard Malacca calling 

From September, 1545, to December, 1547, 
he hovered around that distant peninsula. 
Malacca was then undefeated by the rivalry of 
Singapore, and was the key to the Far East. 
In its atmosphere of sensuous indolence Xavier 
lived, as usual, in his palm-leaf hut, and slept 
on the ground, his head on a black stone. At 
first his whole effort was to brace the Christians 
into some semblance, at least, of self -discipline. 
Nowhere did he work harder, nowhere with 
less results. The insidious soft air sapped his 
bases. But you will observe how, as Paul did, 
Francis studied the trade-routes, and, im 
perially minded, sought for diffusive centres 
of action, like Philippi, and it was at Malacca 
he gathered his first real knowledge of the 
Chinese Empire. From Malacca he started for 
the precious group of " spice islands," Am- 
boina, just west of New Guinea. Storm, and 


pirates and channels labyrinthine with reef and 
sand-bank escorted him on his way to a popu 
lation of the low Papuan type, whom he pur 
sued into their mountainous recesses, through 
jungles whose damp air swarmed with insects 
and reeked with the clove. Only by loud 
singing could Xavier draw these timid crea 
tures from their huts. The head-hunters of 
Borneo, Sumatra, and elsewhere, the canni 
balism and insane immoralities of Ceram, 
for instance, failed to quell his hope, while 
never deluding his judgment on the present. 
Spaniard and Portuguese, circling the globe 
in opposite directions, and meeting in these 
seas, had decided to keep each to their Archi 
pelago, Philippines and Moluccas respectively. 
This year storm, famine, epidemic, drove 
the Spanish fleet down into the Moluccas. It 
was a whole mission-field for Francis, and how 
glad a one ! In the rival nation he meets his 
countrymen. ... It is now he writes that line 
of self-revelation, when he tells his brothers at 
home how, from the letters they send him, 
he has cut out their signatures, and carries 
them about, with his formula of vows, upon 
his heart. Thus, " through the multitude of 
the business " came the " dream " of what he 
had left, and amid the crowding nationalities 


of his travels the man felt himself still lonely. 
June, 1546, to April, 1547, he spent in the 
North Moluccas, Ternate, Tidore, Moretai, 
Riao; always in volcanic activity, the mud- 
fountains, explosions, dust-clouds of these 
places made them in repute a perfect hell, 
with which the brutal character of their in 
habitants was in keeping. All that was pos 
sible was done to keep Francis back. He went, 
and his work was one long consolation. He 
knew that, however brutalized, yet for them 
Christ had died. Each soul was as precious, 
then, as was His Blood. Thrice shipwrecked, 
his possessions lost, more than once starving, 
attacked by the Mohammedans, forced to 
hide from the natives for several days in the 
bush, his stay there was pure happiness. "I 
cannot remember being happier anywhere else, 
nor more continuously. . . . These islands 
ought to be called the Isles of Hope in God" 
Long afterwards he will repeat that his three 
months in Moretai were the happiest in his 
life, for never had human help been so utterly 
denied; never had he been so alone with God. 
He returned to Malacca, having left wherever 
he had passed a memory such that he was 
called, sufficiently for all to recognize, the 
Padre Santo. But as on his outward voyage 


his imagination had been fired by what he 
heard of China, so now Japan for the first 
time dawned fully on his dreams.* No phe 
nomenon is more ascertained in Xavier s life 
than that of second sight. His knowledge of 
the death of Peter Favre about this time 
seems otherwise inexplicable. Anyhow, many 
other cases are as well evidenced as anything 
can be. Thus, after his declaration of the 
Portuguese victory over a native tribe in the 
River Paries at 9 a.m. on December 4, 1547, 
while he was preaching in panic-haunted 
Malacca, nothing could persuade the folk he 
was not infallible. The detailed stories of his 
miracles are fascinating, and have a certain 
homely cachet peculiar to themselves. The 
evidence for them, treated once as though 
homogeneous, varies, however, from the irre 
futable to the historically worthless. Father 
Brou s sober evaluation of it renders his criti 
cism of the unscientific attacks of Mr. Dick- 

* An idea of a priest s position in the Moluccas is 
gathered from Xavier s pointing out that three years 
and nine months at least were necessary for an 
answer to reach Rome from those islands. Thus: 
Eome to India, eight months; eight months wait 
before ships sailed for the Moluccas; twenty-one 
months to the Moluccas and back; eight more home 
to Europe. All this supposes uninterruptedly favour 
able conditions. 


son- White, in a notorious volume, very telling 
The more cautiously we accept the sensational, 
the more boldly we can assert the substantial 
residuum. Xavier s miracles are undoubted, 
because, unless we assume them, we have 
effects without cause the tradition, the con 
versions, and the eye-witness. The earliest 
Jesuit and ecclesiastical critics were as rigor 
ous as could be wished. In the childhood of 
a Church these signs have, indeed, always 
k followed them that do believe " and preach 
the Catholic faith. Else they neither happen 
nor are claimed. 

January, 1548, to May, 1549, was spent in 
India. Some of the Jesuits there, accustomed 
to Ignatius, immovable at Rome, serene, 
working through others, ever at his desk, ac 
customed, too, to their regular hours, meals, 
and, above all, siesta, could not put up with 
the whirlwind activity of Francis. . . .* Like 

* Indeed, save Caesar and Napoleon, has any 
general in the annals of warfare showed such bewil 
dering rapidity of motion as did Francis, and, above 
all, such indefatigability ? Why was not his body 
shaken to pieces by these forced marches, these 
aching tramps through jungles, up mountains, on 
sandy shores ? This series of sea-journeys, racked 
by nausea, in open boats ? These nights rarely more 
than three or four hours long ? This diet of a rigour 
unknown to modern dyspeptics the meals of rice 


some moderns, they could understand neither 
the exigencies of the Basque temperament 
nor the work of pioneering. But Xavier s 
activity was never feverish nor self-deluded by 
a futile multiplicity of unfinished, ill-assured 
enterprises. The whole of this year is spent 
on revisiting Cochin, the Fisheries, probably 
Kandy, and in establishing the work there in 
train. His organization of the prisons, hos 
pitals, leper settlements, his development of 
the College of St. Paul at Goa for the formation 
of a native clergy, his elaborate negotiations 
with Rome, Lisbon, and the local officials, 
display a masterly hand and a grasp of details 
which no imperial view of the wider issues, 
the universal horizon, could confuse. Add to 
this devouring energy, which to those unpre 
pared to copy it, might seem alarming, the 
tenderest, keenest affection for persons and 
places. His pathetic delight in letters from 
home; his prostration once when the mail 

and water, water and rice, a few bamboo shoots, but 
ever and always rice, thread Francis s tale together, 
though, by the way, it is not he who alludes to them, 
but his astonished and carnivorous friends these 
stern penances even to blood ? At least, even before 
these few years were out, his thick hair had gone 


came and contained nothing from Ignatius 
for him; his whole-hearted welcome of anyone 
from Europe; his enthusiastic joy over new re 
cruits, make it plain that if everyone fell so 
promptly in love with Francis, it was because 
of the spontaneous, irrepressible affection with 
which he met them. Everyone . . . ? Well, 
shall I say that those very few who did not 
love St. Francis could scarcely (as to my read 
ing) tolerate him ? To St. Francis no one 
could remain indifferent. A few held out, 
almost hating him. Most gave in at once, 
hands down. 

Certainly his methods were refreshing. In 
dealing with difficult cases, his one policy was 
what he called " going in by their door in order 
to come out by his own." He " talked navy " 
with sailors, tactics with soldiers, commerce 
with the merchants. His knowledge of as 
tronomy was new; on the decks of ships, 
during evening strolls, he fascinated his com 
panions by odd information about the stars. 
"Where is this extraordinary man?" asked 
Diogo de Noronha, a fellow-passenger. He 
was dicing with a notorious rake. " That, a 
saint ?" cried Noronha, who, though bluff, 
was a person of ideals. "He is a priest like 
the rest." At the first halt Xavier disem- 


barked. Where was he going ? Noronha 
sent a man to spy. He returned, thoroughly 
upset. " Let Noronha come. ..." He fol 
lowed, and found Francis, in a palm-grove, in 
an ecstasy of prayer. . . . His audacities take 
our breath away, and seriously flustered his 
contemporaries. At Goa no one, one may say, 
lived correctly in the married state. Xavier, 
meeting the worst offenders in the street, 
stopped them, made friends, ended by asking 
himself to dinner no formalities; why might 
he not look in at once . . . ? He came. The 
nervous host looked anxiously to see how 
he would take the company the servants. 
Francis was charming to everyone, and said 
nothing. The Portuguese, relieved, invited 
him again. "And how are your sisters?" 
Xavier would begin; or he would ask to see 
the children, and then their mother ... or 
he refused gallantly to taste a morsel till he 
should have been introduced to his hostess. 
Our wonder is that he was not knifed a dozen 
times during his first stay in Goa. But the 
rather crude temperament of the Goanese wel 
comed these sanctified impertinences enthusi 
astically; he nearly always got his own way. 
His overwhelmingly clear view separated right 
and wrong with razor-clean stroke; that done, 


he was no prude nor Pharisee. On his way to 
Ceylon a notorious gambler was on board. 
Xavier s presence seemed to be the signal for 
him to lose. He lost, first, every penny; he 
staked his baggage, and lost. The ship rang 
with his blasphemous uproar. " What," said 
Francis, who was saying Office below, " is all 
that noise ?" He was told. He took out a 
handful of coins. " Give him these," said he, 
" and tell him to try again. This time he ll 
be luckier." The sailor laughed, played again, 
and won back everything. Stupefied, he came 
to Francis, confessed, and lived (as the witness, 
an old soldier, tells) like a Christian ever after 
wards. * 

* Xavier s power of altering a man by one absolu 
tion was often commented upon. However, his 
softer measures sometimes failed. Earlier on this 
journey he had made friends with a soldier of licen 
tious life. To any allusion to religion he was deaf; 
at a hint of the duty of confession he burst into 
laughter. At Cananore, Xavier disembarked and 
asked him to come for a stroll. Suddenly, in a palm- 
grove, Xavier knelt down, stripped, and flogged him 
self savagely till the blood flowed. " This is for 
you," said he. " I would do anything to save you; 
but you cost Christ infinitely more. God, by the 
blood of your Son, save this soul." " This is for 
me !" cried the soldier, wrenching away the scourge. 
** I am conquered." This kind of scene is easily 
paralleled from the Saint s life. Strange to our 


You will observe that Francis took these 
paths of pleasantness only when his psycholo 
gist s eye saw that he must move by them or 
by none, though it is perfectly true that these 
anecdotes might be capped a score of times. 
It is certain that he used again and again to 
watch, for instance, the soldiers at their 
gambling, and once, when they thought that 
decency demanded them to cease, on the 
padre s approach, he deliberately told them 
not to stop enjoying themselves; they weren t 
meant to behave like monks.* When, how 
ever, he had to deal with Brahmin and other 
ascetics, he set no limits to his abstinence. 

modern mind, it demands that we remember that 
these men all had, in the last resort, the same belief 
as Francis. He had to smash his way through a 
crust of indifferentism to a living soul within. In a 
sense his task was easier than ours; for here the 
problem is, how often, to enkindle life itself. Yet not 
easy is it for anyone, at any time, to scourge his skin 
to tatters. And at night Francis will lie, at best, upon 
a strip of cocoanut fibre, no salve to bleeding shoulders ! 
* Frankly, we regret the non-existence at that 
time of healthy, traditional, absorbing, non-religious 
amusements. It is splendid to hear of a crew, a 
garrison, a town, abandoning songs for psalms, and 
gambling for visits to the church. But we know it 
won t last, and oughtn t to. A quantity of innocent 
natural amusements should be demanded by public 


At Goa he would dine out constantly, and 
praise the cooking, the crockery, the cook. 
... In Buddhist monasteries he outfasted the 
most rigorous of the pagan ascetics, to whom 
eating in the European priest would have been 
a scandal. Herein St. Paul was again his 
model. Similarly, his mind changed entirely 
as to the expediency of having a learned clergy 
in India. He had thought at first that the 
simpler, the less bemused with theology, his 
recruits, the better. Later, he wrung his hands 
over the knowledge running to waste in Europe, 
the vapourings of philosophers in Paris. They 
were needed, he was convinced, a hundred 
times over to argue with the Brahmin and 
the Bonze. It may be doubted whether the 
Aristotelianized brain has the slightest chance 
even of starting to deal with or create ideas as 
does the Hindu. Buddhism, superficially like 
some of the trappings of Christianity 
dazzlingly so to the uninstructed traveller 
baffles in reality even the beginning of argu 
ment on Western lines. Still, we see Francis s 
magnificent first principle that you must 
fight your adversary or win your friend on his 
own ground. Rapiers cannot cope with bombs, 
nor can you bully a man into belief. 

Connected with this was his most modern- 


minded preparation for his mission to Japan. 
Again, no idea of swooping like an Archangel 
from the blue, ready to sweep aside all that 
" the heathen in his blindness " worshipped, in 
order to offer him in place a Bible or a Summa 
to swallow whole. First, the most careful 
study of Japanese religions, close interroga 
tion of Japanese students, and, indeed, the 
conversion and ordination, after prolonged in 
struction, of three Japanese young men. Later, 
the learning by heart of St. Matthew s Gospel, 
and the writing of it out in Japanese; the 
translation of the Commandments, Creed, and 
Christian prayers into that tongue. All that 
courtesy, all that toleration could devise, all 
that modern scientific methods could reason 
ably suggest, Xavier foresaw and carried out. 
Here is no mad missionary, jangling a bell 
down the street, calling out unintelligible 
formulae, pouring water on to astonished 
natives, and then leaving them to apostatize 
from what they have never believed. Yet 
such has been the picture painted by those, 
whose interest it was, of Francis Xavier. 

Do we not perceive in this the difference 
between the priest who is a man of the world 
and the priest who is worldly ? The latter is, 
I own, detestable, nowadays especially. In 


Francis s time there was, in a sense, scope for 
great prelates. They could take their position 
with an air. Now Bishops no longer order 
their tombs at St. Praxed s, and perhaps just 
as well. But the imitation of a bad thing is 
surely doubly damned ! Leaving that, let us 
say that Francis, in his extreme personal 
poverty and abnegation, was essentially a man 
of the world. He had family, looks, physique, 
University training, and infinite savoir faire. 
Who shall reproach him for making use of it 
all ? The Cure d Ars was other than St. 
Francis. We love him, too, but with a different 
kind of love. Extreme innocence, simplicity, 
unlettered naiveness, incredible aloofness from 
the interests of what, for all but one in a 
thousand men, means " life," may quell and 
even charm the soul into submission. Still, 
for the " approach," Francis s method, be a 
man but Saint enough to use it, is at least the 
more attractive, and, under God, not less suc 
cessful. For it were folly to forget or disguise 
that Francis was a man a- brim with God. In 
all his irrepressible boyish gaiety, his chaff, his 
absurd enthusiastic methods, his canny devices, 
his work, his penance, he looked out upon the 
world, himself, and his own action, as through 
a glass of God. 


In May he started for Malacca, and arrived 
for once not having been sea-sick, and in the 
highest spirits. He was sure of Japan . . . 
it was his Promised Land. He talked of 
emptying other missions to supply its needs; 
he wrote half - summoning Rodriguez. . . . 
Suddenly the skies clouded. These vivid tem 
peraments have quick and keen reactions. A 
body bruised and buffeted matters little if the 
soul be serene. Real martyrdoms are in the 
mind. Francis suffered his first scruples. Was 
it, after all, self-will that was taking him to 
Japan ? Then in that Chinese junk, endlessly 
dilatory, save when, as more than once, pur 
sued by pirates, he saw Chinese idolatry close 
and constantly, and for the first time. To 
Francis, not alone grotesque, hideous, and 
savage were these rites, but diabolical. For 
Francis, the Devil and all his hosts of malig 
nant spirits were continually and personally 
duping and warring upon humanity. Dis 
gusted and heart-heavy at first, he passed soon 
through paroxysms of downright fear. " That 
day and the following night our Lord granted 
me the supreme grace of feeling and learning 
by experience and to the uttermost the agon 
izing and appalling fears which, when God 
allows it, the enemy can inspire." Francis had 



his Dark Night, his Gethsemani. He. too, 
cospit tcedere, et paver e, et mcestus esse tedium, 
and fear, and grief. He conquered, and in 
August, 1549, after many an opportunity 
(thrust on him by a Captain only too anxious 
to halt or turn back) of abandoning the voyage, 
he sailed beneath the volcanoes of Kiusiu, 
and landed at Kagoshima on the Feast of the 

Conversions were very slow. Here Francis 
" fished with the rod, not the net." Still, the 
Samurai and the Japanese ideal of chivalry 
enchanted him. He had long talks with the 
bonzes, who were mostly courteous, sometimes 
angrily jealous. He considered his Japanese 
converts his " pets." In September Francis 
went by way of Yamaguchi to the then Im 
perial city, Miyako (Kioto), the " Japanese 
Versailles." The cold became bitter; the bare 
footed traveller s flesh was rain-sodden and 
frost-bitten. At night Francis gave up his 
bed-coverings to the others. What recurs in 
the history of this period is the mention of the 
ridicule the missionaries were subjected to at 
least, by the common folk. Elsewhere, abuse, 
attack; here, mockery. At Miyako his visit 
was ill-timed. Civil war had reduced the dis 
trict to destruction. The living idol, the 


Mikado, passed his fantastic existence hidden 
in his palace-shrine. He was poverty-stricken, 
aged, and abandoned. The Shogun, the politi 
cal generalissimo, was a frightened, helpless 
boy. The foreign madmen haunted the 
palace steps, till jeers and stones drove them 
from the city. In the frozen month of Feb 
ruary they returned to Yamaguchi. 

Francis changed his tactics. He presented 
himself to the Governor as Portuguese Am 
bassador from Goa, and bore presents with 
him, which were accepted. Japanese records 
still tell of the clock which " struck exactly 
twelve times by day and twelve by night, a 
musical instrument which played all by itself 
[it was a sort of spinet], and glasses for the 
eyes, thanks to which an old man can see as 
distinctly as a youth." Liberty to preach and 
be converted was placarded at Yamaguchi. 
The Samurai listen, the people jeer, the few 
converts are admirable. Much downright con 
troversy is required. The Creation must be 
asserted against all Buddhist and other tales of 
impersonal absorptions and re-emanations of 
the All. The future life must be put in its 
true light to the followers of Shinto. Will 
ancestor-worship prove help or hindrance ? 
Over the moral law the chief difficulties rise. 


The bonzes are Pharisees, and Xavier pene 
trates the whited sepulchre. ... It is inter 
esting to see Xavier here, and on his visit to 
Bungo, using the rich stoles, the sandals, the 
parasol which he decided were necessary to 
impress the official caste. Directly his back 
was turned, persecution broke out at Yama- 
guchi. The missionaries had to hide in a 
pagoda. Himself, when in November, 1551, 
Francis left Japan, he had done little or nothing 
of what he had dreamed. From 1,500 to 2,000 
Christians were left behind him . Yet he departed 
happy and high in hope. Nor was he deceived. 
These islands have put the most glorious of 
chapters into Christian history, and no soil has 
been redder with martyrs blood. 

On his return to India he found himself ap 
pointed by Ignatius Provincial of the Indies. 
Till April, 1552, therefore, he occupied himself 
with domestic politics, which do not interest 
us. On the whole, all was going well. The 
Christian native settlements were persevering 
and increasing. He went " confirming the 


" That which I chose, I choose ; 
That which I willed, I will; 
That which I once refused, I still refuse: 

hope deferred, be still. 
That which I chose and choose 

And will is Jesu s Will : 
He hath not lost his life who seems to lose : 
hope deferred, hope still." 


ALMOST exactly eleven years after Xavier s 
departure from Lisbon, and ten after his 
arrival in India, he left Goa for China (about 
April 25, 1552). He made it clearly under 
stood that his friends were to see his face no 
more. Notice that China to a Portuguee was 
a forbidden land. 

After shipwreck, epidemic, infinite red-tape 
and domestic difficulties at Malacca, and down 
right persecution from officialdom, at last, in 
July, Francis left Singapore. In August he 
arrived at the island of San-Cian, opposite the 


mouths of the Si-kiang, on which Canton is 
situated. There Portuguese trading-ships could 
anchor, but no one would take the responsi 
bility of shipping him across to China. He 
could see the coast but a few leagues distant. 
It was drawing his soul into itself. October 
came. He was still there waiting, and eating 
his heart out. The hideous tortures of Chinese 
prisons were rehearsed to him. He saw the 
effects in a Portuguese prisoner of some of 
them. Still, he was determined. Into China 
at all costs he must break. And lo ! in this 
very month, when he before death tasted some 
thing of death s agony, was born in Italy the 
Jesuit, Matteo E/icci, who should, in fact, win 
through into Pekin. Meanwhile, a slight re 
current shivering-fit fatigued him. He took 
medicine, and was better. From San-Cian the 
trading- junks begin to sail away. To follow 
Francis into China are left only a Malabar 
servant and a Chinese boy. Xavier sends letters 
home. One week more, and he is sure to be 
in China. . . . He has bribed a Canton mer 
chant-ship to carry him across. . . . Soon he 
will be a prisoner at Canton, or possibly in the 
Siamese Embassy to Pekin. November is 
come. On the 13th Xavier writes once more: 
" Shall I reach China ? I cannot tell. 


Everything is against it. . . ." Henceforward 
the Chinese boy relates the tale minutely. 
Nearly all the Portuguese were gone. The 
Santa Croce, in which the Saint had come, rode 
almost solitary at anchor in the bay. On the 
northern hills, in a straw-thatched hut, Xavier 
awaited his Canton merchantman, begging a 
rare crust from the Portuguese who remained 
on board, and were themselves badly off for 
food. The 19th, on which date the merchant 
was due, came, but not the merchant. Two 
days passed; still he did not come. With the 
failure of hope, Xavier s strength gave way. 
He fell sick. In the evening of the 22nd, 
Xavier thought he would be better on board. 
Provisions where he was were unobtainable. 
But it grew suddenly colder. The ship rolled. 
Francis s temperature rose alarmingly. Next 
day he returned to shore, rinding the ship in 
tolerable. He brought with him a pair of 
socks, for an appalling headache rendered bare 
feet a torture. A charitable Portuguee took 
him across the bay to his more comfortable 
hut and bled him. Francis fainted, and on 
recovery could not eat. On Thursday, the 
24th, he was bled again, and fainted once more, 
and was for a brief space delirious. In his 
delirium he returned (so it seems almost cer- 


tain) to his childhood s language, Basque. 
Yet even so a certain serenity possessed him. 
Again and again he repeated in Latin: "But 
do Thou have mercy on my iniquities and my 
sins "; and " Jesus, Son of David, have mercy 
upon me"; and "Mother of God, remember 
me." All this Thursday and Friday the Saint, 
having the Name of Jesus constantly on his 
lips, spoke little else, and gave no trouble at 
all. On the Friday the Malabar servant went 
back to the ship. There no anxiety was dis 
played. The Captain made him a gift of some 
almonds, which Francis could not eat. 

On Saturday, the 26th, Francis fixed his eyes 
on the Malabar. " Ah, alas for thee !" he 
murmured. " Ah, alas for thee ! alas for thee ! 
what grief thou causest me !" And thereafter 
said no more.* 

The night closed in, and Francis, speechless 
now, but conscious, lay with his eyes fixed on 
a Crucifix fastened to a post. The Chinaman 
had covered him as well as he could, but the 
sides of the hut were a mere wooden frame 
work; the palm-leaf thatch was in fragments; 
the wind blew at its will over the dying man, 
and, setting the flame of the little lamp flaring 

* This man apostatized, lived in licence, and died 
from an unforeseen shot from an arquebus. 


and flickering, tossed the shadows wildly 
around the bed, where Francis lay rigid, with 
his white face and shining eyes fixed open. 
Through the openings in the hut s side came 
the ceaseless sound of waves. Beyond, 
drowned in the darkness, lay the innumerable 
islands and inlets made by the Si-kiang, and 
doubly hidden behind them Canton. Across 
this vision, which the staring eyes of Francis 
needed no light to see, were stretched the arms 
of his Crucifix. Muffled in his cloak, the China 
man crouched beside him to watch the night 

When a man is drowning, his whole life, they 
say, files before him in vivid reminiscence. 
The Chinaman, watching this death, could 
form no fancy of what Xavier s life had been; 
but the Saint, offering his life, now finishing, 
to God, could not but perceive, and once more 
judge, the lives he so easily might have lived, 
and had not lived. He saw the grim little 
castle, undismantled yet, in the brown hills, 
and the sky tingling with Spanish sunlight, and 
the children praying in the austere church, romp 
ing by the river, and himself running and leaping. 
That, of course, could not last, nor had he hoped 
or wished it should. The scene shifted, and 
he saw the fantastic architecture of the crowded 


University colleges at Paris, with high roofs 
blocking out the sky, and the sudden brawls by 
taverns, and the hateful laughter of midnight 
lovers, and the thronged lecture-halls rocking 
with applause at display of scholastic subtlety 
of erudition. Paris must have seemed nearer 
to him than much else in his life, so constantly 
did his thoughts and words recur to it. True 
adolescence has its problems of sex and of 
theology, its ambitious dreams and choices of 
career, and of these mysteries, so new, so absorb 
ing for a young man s unaccustomed brain, 
some will endure through life but, even when 
difficult to deal with, no more as new, unique, 
unshared. Xavier had made his decision. Mar 
riage he would put aside, and God s law for his 
body he would obey. To God s revelation he 
would yield his mind and will, and live as a loyal 
Catholic. Here had been much renouncement. 
But self-sacrifice grows by practice ; a new per 
spective forms; God and the soul are realized, 
not now as topics in theology, but as peremp 
tory realities, demanding immediate and privi 
leged attention. The man who shall alter 
Xavier s life comes into it, he effects the enor 
mous change, and the whole of Paris, too, is 
left behind. For Francis, all of that agitated 
interspace, with its trampings of Italy, its 


hospitals, its ordination, Rome itself, is Ig 
natius. For so brief a time really understood, 
really " in communion "; for so few months to 
have lived actually under one roof with him 
for " familiar friend," to have walked with him 
in the House of the Lord as friends. ... At 
this very moment Ignatius was there, thousands 
of leagues away, through the dark, awake and 
working, not guessing (it would seem) that his 
friend had finished the work God had given 
him to do. ... Ignatius had been a brief 
enough space in Francis s actual companion 
ship. He had entered his society, and very 
soon had left it, and now he in his turn was 
being left. Between them, and upon one 
another, these men had accomplished a vast 
spiritual work. It was finished, and must be 
handed on to God. Then followed the year s 
journey out to India, the Fisheries, Ceylon. 
A hive of Christian energy would continue 
there, and he not there. India was far away 
from Malacca, from the Moluccas, and they 
themselves were far now, and not to be re 
visited. Japan appeared to him. Knowing 
that bulk of achievement counts for nothing, 
and that to be treated as a fool was the lot of 
his Master, Christ, whose Name he had hoped 
to preach there, Xavier could suffer this vision 


undisturbed. China came next, the huge 
Empire, more than any place, he had some 
how felt, a stronghold whence Satan must be 
routed. With that ever-alluring, ever-hostile 
country in his eyes, he was told that this was 
not for him, that he must fold up the map of 
seas and continents, and stay at home hence 

Even for a Saint, skilled in detachment, it 
must be a solemn thing to hear that. . . . 
" That which I have done, do Thou within 
Thyself make pure." He has done so much, 
and so little. The more God may through him 
have done, the more he knows will have been 
his own blunders and hinderings, the only 
total to be scored down to his peculiar account. 
Even gratitude, even joy, even peace, at that 
moment cannot but be awestruck, solemn, and 
trusting for forgiveness. 

Did Francis know the ultimate agony which 
God will often ask from the man who has given 
up one life or many lives for the sake of that 
life which is meaningless if to work for God 
be not the supremely best of lives ? Did he 
feel that temptation, which is no assault, as it 
were, upon the walls and towers of the soul s 
citadels, but the very withdrawal and crumbling 
of its foundations, the sick doubt as to whether, 


after all, not this or that detail of life s plan 
had been well or ill realized, but whether the 
whole business had been right at all, whether 
the initial choice ought ever to have been 
thought of, whether God ever asked anything at 
all of the soul ? Whether mortals were meant 
to introduce all this manner of dream into life s 
business, and for the dream renounce the 
ordinary career of men ? We cannot tell whether 
this subtlest of all faith s trials, this falling 
away of all over the abyss save the supporting 
Hand of God, was now allowed to Francis. 
If it were, his martyrdom was indeed fulfilled. 
Certainly all other comfort was denied him. 
Perhaps enough, however, had already been 
endured. He may have been enabled to look 
at the vision of his life, one long series of de 
plorable and most tragic errors, unless God and 
His service were, indeed, the one thing in the 
world, without that dreadful doubt. Be all 
that as it may, the faith and hope and love 
which had sustained him throughout it, sus 
tained him now, whether in peace or in desola 
tion would not matter long. 

At two o clock, when the winds and waters 
were restless, Francis, too, stirred. The un 
mistakable change touched his features. The 
vigilant Chinaman rose, and put a candle into the 


anxious hand, and held it there. After a brief 
struggle Francis Xavier died, without priest or 
Sacrament, attended by one Chinese servant- 
boy, un watched save for his silent Crucifix. 

The body was buried next day at two in the 
afternoon of Sunday, November 27, 1552, in a 
large chest. It had already been let down into 
the trench they dug for it, when a mulatto sug 
gested the filling of the chest with quicklime. 
It was brought back to the surface, four sacks 
of quicklime were emptied into it, and it was 
once more let down into the grave. On 
the trampled earth a few stones were placed to 
mark the spot. The Chinaman, two mulattoes, 
and one Portuguee performed this burial. 
The others found it too cold to leave their ship 
or their huts. But humiliated thus in death 
by his fellow-men, Death spared him her own 

The Santa Croce was not to sail till February 
The Chinaman, indignant that it should leave 
the body behind, protested. If the quicklime 
had done its work, the Captain answered, the 
skeleton might accompany the ship. The chest 
was disinterred. The body was as pure and 
fragrant as when it had first been buried. . . . 
An incision was made: blood flowed. The 
Captain himself, like the centurion, praised 


God. In March Malacca was sighted. A skiff 
carried on the news that Francis was coming 
home. For all save the official who so savagely 
withstood the Saint in his lifetime, his return 
was a triumph. All Malacca venerated the 
body, carried in procession, and laid in state 
in the Cathedral. More brilliant of counten 
ance than in life, Francis smiled from his dais 
on his folk. A grave too short was dug 
near the altar; the bent body was interred 
coffinless, by Malacca custom, in its vestments, 
a cushion under the head, a veil over the face. 
By March, 1553, India had heard of the death. 
In August it was confirmed. Again in that 
month the body, still untainted by earth s 
cruelties, though bruised somewhat by the care 
lessness of man, was exhumed, and placed in 
an honourable house previous to its last voyage 
to India. On December 11 it set sail. In 
Ceylon, again, the coffin was opened, and again 
at Batticaloa. Everywhere ecstatic enthusiasm 
greeted the loved Saint, whose face those 
populations had never thought to see again. 
At Goa, Passion Week became high festival. 
From the little Church of Our Lady of Riban- 
dar children, dancing and garlanded, soldiers, 
priests, cripples and sick, all the populace of 
every race and colour, escorted Francis home 


in a cloud of incense, a rain of falling petals, a 
tempest of bells and hymns. Not for three 
days and nights would the frenzied crowds 
suffer the entombment of the body. 

But I am not to tell of the strange history of 
those relics, nor the continued life of Francis, 
by power of prayer, in the Church and in the 
lands he evangelized. I have tried to picture 
this honourable Basque gentleman whom God 
made so much more than merely honourable, 
who controlled his human nature so as to 
make not only its own natural best of it, in 
use of body and of brain, but to make it the 
willing and fit servant of that higher self which 
God Himself infuses into His elect, and 
which is the ever fuller incorporation with 
Christ. The two selves, triumphantly asso 
ciated, are yet to the end most clearly dis 
cernible in their harmony, and now that the 
eternal crown of approbation has been placed 
upon the brow of the good and faithful servant, 
we may still fearlessly picture to ourselves St. 
Francis with his clear quick look of alert in 
telligence, his firm lips, and resolute hands 
lips smiling and eyes flashing boyishly as ever, 
despite the hair gone white. 

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